This blog is a look at life through my eyes: a woman trying to lose weight through weight loss surgery, a woman recovering from fertility problems, a woman going through the process of adopting a baby, and a woman on an amazing spiritual journey. Our incredible journey of faith led us to the adoption of our son in April '10... but also to a miracle pregnancy!
My partner in crime... and partner in life. A wonderful husband, provider, support system, and father. Loves football, fishing, gardening, cooking, and hanging out with his family.
Our son born in April '10, loves getting into everything - climbing - running - and has a great time doing it! James is always on the go and loves to be outside!
Our son born in October '10... is also into everything! Tyler loves reading as much as climbing, and would sit most days and read with you all day long. He also loves to snuggle.
Missy and Maggie seem to like their new yard. They were scared of the fence at first, but all seems to be adjusting. It rained tonight pretty hard, and they seemed to be a little unnerved by the noise from that - but we made it through that as well. John and I were both surprised at how it sounded hitting the metal thing on top of our fireplace as well. We've made it through Day 2, and we've gotten everything cleaned out of the hallway. You can click on the link on the right side of this page to see our full album of moving photos.
This is what our breakfast room looked like after the movers left. We're slowly getting through some of this, but it's going to take a few more days to get us completely ready for company. John will hopefully be able to go out to Midland to get the furniture that we have been given from the lake house and other various miscellaneous places. It will all look really nice. Our goal is to get that stuff before I have a few women from our church over at the end of the month. As we get rooms completed - I'll take pictures and post them here. It's going to take some time to get the kitchen one posted as they are replacing two pieces of our counter tops on Wednesday, and I will have some adjusting to do when they finish with that - not to mention we are planning on painting the kitchen... so I CAN'T wait to show how that is going to look.
It is 3 days until the big move, but of course we're not counting. HA! We are starting to take a few things to the house little by little, to spread out the work done by us. My brilliant husband (and I really mean that) decided that it would be a good idea for us to get a cleaning lady to come to the apartment on Friday so that we didn't have to worry about getting that place cleaned up. We can instead just focus on getting the house unpacked.
John spent the better part of yesterday hooking up a system so that we can water the yard while we're not living at the house in a fairly easy way. He got a timer and an automatic shut off thing for the water - so it waters the back yard for a couple of hours... then I go switch the hoses on my way to work, and it waters the front for a couple of hours. Pretty smart, huh? It's also a great system so that I can put things in my car in the evening and then unload them really quickly in the morning at the house. It kills two birds with one stone... I love that!
We're about 96% packed, and hope to finish that up tonight or tomorrow - with the minor exceptions of the things we absolutely need between now and Thursday. We're getting excited, and can't wait to get some pictures together of our house with some actual stuff in it!!
In our first 24 hours of being homeowners - we jumped into a major project. John plans to use his garage for many projects over the years, and wanted to make sure that clean up would be easy. So we put an apoxy coating on the floor which was a two day process. Friday night we cleaned the floor with a special cleaner from the kit - it involved John scrubbing the floor with a stiff broom and me spraying it down several times. My job was fairly easy - but I did get a chance to enjoy washing off my new driveway, and watering our grass a little.
On a side note - the AT&T guy accidentally drove off into our grass - so it was a little touch & go for a few minutes while he put the sod back on the yard. Geez!! So my watering was mainly to saturate that area in order for it to try to catch up with taking root like the rest of the sod.
Saturday morning was step two of the garage project. It wasn't so bad - we had to paint the apoxy on the floor and sprinkle the flecks into the paint. You have to do all of that in 4x4 sections so that you can sprinkle while the paint is still wet enough for them to stick...and anything more than 4x4 and my arms wouldn't have reached to sprinkle evenly over the entire area. It took us about 2 hours to get that done - so it wasn't to bad. Now we just wait until next Saturday and I can park my car in the garage for the first time!! YIPPEE!!!
LOS ANGELES - The first long-term studies of stomach stapling andother radical obesity treatments show that they not only lead tolasting weight loss but also dramatically improve survival. Theresults are expected to lead to more such operations, possibly forless severely obese people, too.
Researchers in Sweden and the United States separately found that obese people who underwent drastic surgery had a 30 percent to 40percent lower risk of dying seven to 10 years later compared with those who did not have such operations.
The research, published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, should put to rest uncertainties about the benefits and risks of weight-loss surgery and may cause governments and insurers to rethink who should qualify for the procedure, some doctors said."It's going to dispel the notion that bariatric surgery is cosmetic surgery and support the notion that it saves lives," said Dr. Philip Schauer, director of bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who had no role in the research.
More obesity surgeries Obesity surgeries have surged in recent years along with global waistlines. In the United States alone, 177,600 operations were performed last year, according to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery. The most common method was gastric bypass, or stomach-stapling surgery, which reduces the stomach to a small walnut-sized pouch and bypasses part of the small intestine where digestion occurs.
The Swedish study is the longest look yet at how obesity surgery affects mortality. Researchers led by Dr. Lars Sjostrom of Goteborg University compared 4,047 people with a body-mass index over 34 who had one of three types of surgery or received standard diet advice. BMI is a standard measure of height and weight and a BMI over 30 is considered obese.
After a decade, those in the surgery group lost 14 percent to 25 percent of their original weight compared to 2 percent in the other group. Of the 2,010 surgery patients, 101 died. There were 129 deaths in the comparison group of 2,037 people.
In the U.S. study, Ted Adams of the University of Utah led a team that looked at 7,925 severely obese people in the state who had gastric bypass. They were matched with similar people who did not have the operation and who were selected through their driver's license records listing height and weight. After an average of seven years' follow-up, 213 people who had surgery died compared to 321 who did not have the procedure. The study did not look at weight loss.
Deaths from disease drops Deaths from diabetes in the surgery group were dramatically cut by 92 percent; from cancer by 60 percent and from heart disease by 56 percent. Surprisingly, the surgery group had a higher risk of death from accidents, suicides and other causes not related to disease. The researchers were puzzled by this. Both studies were done before surgery advances that have led to smaller incisions and faster recovery time. Experts say future long-term survival rates from obesity surgery should be even better.
While neither study was the gold standard test, where patients are randomly given one treatment or another, surgery's dramatic benefits make it ethically hard to deny patients the operation, said Dr.George Bray of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University.
Herb Olitsky, a 53-year-old business owner from New York City, credits his improved lifestyle to gastric bypass.
A diabetic, Olitsky was given months to live after developing a life-threatening bacterial infection near his heart muscles. Olitsky, who stands 5 feet 8 inches, underwent stomach-stapling surgery in 1999 and went from 520 pounds to his current weight of 160.
He no longer struggles to walk a quarter block and has managedto control his blood pressure and heart rate."I knew I had to get it and that's what's kept me alive," Olitsky said. "I'm healthier now than I've ever been."
More than 400 million people worldwide are obese and surgery is the only proven method to shed significant pounds in a short time. In theUnited States, it costs $17,000 to $35,000 and insurance coverage varies.
Weight-loss surgery is considered relatively safe with the risk of death from the surgery at less than 1 percent. Common complications include nutritional deficiency, gallstones and hernia.
I sit here today, and reflect on the craziness that is life. There is so much going on right now with the move, school, and surgery... and it's just funny how much life can change in an instant... but seems to move so quickly too.
Today is one of my 4 (soon to be 5) neices' birthday and she is 5... it just amazes me everytime I think of how it feels like only yesterday that she started talking! I have the same sensation when I realize that my oldest neice will be 12 in February! Seriously!!
On a side note that also means that will have been out of high school for 12 years, and that just seems impossible to me.
At any rate - Happy Birthday wishes go out to Taylor, and congratulations on starting kindergarden next Monday. You're such a big girl!
My new focus right now is on trying to drink water constantly. I really haven't been much of a drinker lately - well - for the last several years. I am the person that rarely finishes a drink before the ice melts... and as I sit here at my desk - I notice that this is happening to the water I got on my way to my desk this morning.
I don't know what the answer will be for me to solve this. In some ways - I think that things will drastically change when I have my surgery because I'm going to be MUCH more aware of everything going on in my body. The professionals at the hospital though say that I need to work on these things now, and they are right. So this weekend - I tried to do as much hydrating as I could. I think I did pretty well yesterday - although it wasn't water - it was decaf iced tea. I thought it was a mini-step in the right direction though - because I gave up regular tea. Normally (the weekends are the worst) I will nurse two drinks all day - one in the morning that lasts until 5ish... and then one with dinner that normally takes me to bedtime.
I've got to come up with a system to keep drinking fresh in my mind all the time... I'm open to suggestions. It's not really an issue of what the drink is... nothing really helps there, and I don't like those little mixes that you can throw in your water bottle...
I'd hate to have to put reminders on my calendar at work, but I will if I have to... the only thing there is that it won't help me on the weekends.
Ok, I'm sorry if there are any snake lovers out there reading my blog - but I am terrified of those freaky looking things... so that is the only appology that will be posted about this story.
Every morning, I take the girls down for their morning walk... this morning - I opened the door and the girls ran out, and I saw a snake. As with anything else - I naturally froze in my tracks as the snake started coming through the hinged part of the door. I shut the door on the snake - and it kept creeping inside... and there I was with the snake, and the dogs outside with their leashes in my hand... so they couldn't go anywhere.
I called for John, who came down to get the snake out - and kill it. Of course it was a little tiny copperhead... because as if it's not bad enough that a snake is inside - it has to be poisonous! John killed it and threw it out by the fence, but seriously - we can't move fast enough now to get away from the serpents!
Yippee!! I only have one more appointment with my nutritionist until I have all of my paperwork together to get my surgery approved. I can't wait to get my approval and move forward with the actual surgery. I'm sure that most patients that go through this feel the same - but it feels like it has taken over my life. I can't do much of anything else without thinking about the proceedure and how different my life will be.
Jodi, my nutritionist, focused today on proteins. I am not a fan of HEB stores, but apparently they have a great product that she endorses. It is called Mootopia, and it is milk... but better. They apparently take milk, and remove some of the water - which makes it higher in protein. Additionally, they put in the enzyme lactase to break down the lactose - so people with lactose intollerance can drink this product. It comes in regular (vanilla) and chocolate - so I will have to check this out when the HEB opens near my house.
So to recap - in the next 3(ish) weeks until I meet with Jodi again:
We have the house closing - next Friday
A weekend of painting the kitchen, power room... and anything else that we can afford
Move to the house - August 30th
See Dr. Weinstein - September 4th
See Jodi - September 12th
Then I get to move to the next step and go meet Dr. Naaman!! WAA HOO!!
A 90-day wonder is an Officers Candidate School graduate. OCS students are former civilians or enlisted sailors with bachelor’s degrees who endure roughly 90 days of intense physical and academic instruction, graduating as commissioned officers.
One of my very best friends in the world leaves today for OCS, and I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that fact. She grew up with an Air Force colonel for a Dad, and is well prepared for what she is doing - but is anxious, nervous and excited none-the-less. I know that she's going to do amazingly well in this endeavor, and I wish her the absolute best of luck.
Maria is such a special person - and I know that this is going to be the best chapter in her life so far. She's worked very hard to get approved to be sworn in - she had to go the extra mile to get some minor issue with her eyes approved, and that takes dedication. I have always admired her determination and bravery, and only wish her happiness.
She has always been very supportive of me and all my ups and downs over the years. (Maria - can you believe it'll be 10 years of friendship in January?!) We met as transfer students on our first couple of days at A&M, and have been great friends ever since.
While some might think it's not a great idea to be starting this in a war-time - Maria has assured most of us that love her that she is not going into a career path that will lead her directly into a war-zone. She is going to be in the supply distribution area, and will have to spend some time on a ship - but not as much as some of her other career options within the Navy.
On a very personal and selfish note - I'm personally glad to have her back in a position where I can potentally talk to her on a regular basis again. She's been back in school for a little over a year or so now, and it has really put a damper on our communication - so hopefully after she gets through the initial craziness of OCS, we'll be able to share and enjoy our friendship fully again.
Maria, I just want you to know that I am extremely proud of you.
Our house is almost finished, and it's so strange to see how decisions that I made back in May are actually coming together. The house looks really nice, and I'm so proud that John and I were able to make everything come together and look as great as it does. It's funny because I don't feel old enough to be a homeowner. Maybe I'm just nuts, but every milestone like that - makes me feel so strange... and I know that I'll be 30 next May, but I just don't feel that old.
We're working on getting the packing completed, and everything scheduled for delivery or hook up at the house... and we'll officially be in on August 30th.
I swear that my boss is certifiable! We're in our annual review process and the man that I thought I could finally deal with and accept... has reverted back to the ogre that I worked for a year ago. His main goal and happiness comes from making people feel inadequate or below average. I've never met someone that made me feel like that so easily.
I feel like I come from a family that has an amazing work ethic, and I take pride in my work... I think that sometimes quality is much more important than quantity, but this man is all about the quantity.
So basically - my review looks like I'm an average to below average employee that adds nothing to my department, but in reality - I bring a lot of knowledge and skills that go unappreciated. He doesn't appreciate the fact that I can step in and bail most of my coworkers out of problems and still manage to complete my goals for the year. For instance, this year - I spent 6 months doing someone else's job because they were in a bind... but still managed to meet all of my goals - but I'm going to be given a review that shows that I merely met my goals.
Ok, I'm done with my ranting - but I honestly am praying for some peace and grace from God to help me get through this next year while I take my additional math class. I SO CAN'T WAIT TO BE A TEACHER!!
Here is a picture of something that I think about everyday... John and I have really worked hard to get where we are in the process of having this surgery.
I met with my primary doctor today for my second monthly appointment for my "supervised diet plan" - which is to say that I meet with him monthly to talk about what is going on with my illnesses... and he checks my weight. Don't get me wrong - he's wonderful, but the insurance bureaucracy is crazy!!
So the outcome was that things are going well - my blood sugars are coming down somewhat, and my blood pressure is really doing well with his treatment. We've got one more month to go! It's funny because he doesn't even want to tinker with my dosages to much anymore because we're starting to think about how he'll be taking me off of them pretty quickly!! YIPEE!
From what Dr. Weinstein estimates is that it will be mid-October or late-October at the latest. He said that it's about 1 month from the time that you finish your preliminary work for the insurance company - which my final appointment to complete the requirements will be sometime between 9/11 and 9/16.