Finger-pokin’ Good

So as an RNY’d pregnant person, I can’t do the usual glucose tolerance test. My OB asked me to go buy a glucose testing kit with at least 25 strips and test for 7 days. I’m supposed to do my fasting level right when I wake up and then test again two hours after breakfast.

Umm, okay?

See, this is really new for me. And I don’t want to spend a fortune on a non-covered ridiculously-expensive glucose meter and all that, so I talked to the pharmacist at Walgreens and she suggested the store-brand kit that comes with a rebate for the full purchase price. It’s basically free! And it includes 10 test strips and 10 lancets so you can test for 5 days, which is plenty long enough!

Except NO.

I tried testing for the first time today. 10 finger pricks and 7 test strips later, I got my two readings. Guess I’ll need to buy more supplies since I basically used them all on DAY ONE!

Upon waking: 82

Two hours after breakfast: 67

Now I know absolutely nothing about this stuff. My mom is pre-diabetic and is supposed to taking Byetta or something, but she doesn’t. I have a Type 1 diabetic aunt, but it’s not like I ever see her test or anything. So I turned to Dr. Google to look up what the normal ranges actually are, and discovered that two hours after eating should be 70 – 140. So I’m a little low. I read on.

I learned that under 60 or so, you experience the heart-rating, sweating, dead-tiredness of hypoglycemia. I just call that carb coma and it happens to me ALL. THE. TIME.

I read on. And discovered under 50 or so, you can experience memory loss, shakes, loss of consciousness, and as the level dips lower, seizures and coma. YIKES. I’ve been in the 50’s, I just know it.

Now here’s the thing. For breakfast, I ate a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese smothered all over it. Of course that’s not the ideal breakfast for a bypassed person. I could have had something smarter like a protein shake. Or a protein bar. Or a nasty little sausage patty and some nasty eggs (not into that kind of food). But seriously, I’m sure it was low because I ate so  many carbs for breakfast.

Anyway, this little adventure isn’t so fun. I feel bad for the day-in, day-out glucose testers. I guess I’ll pick up more supplies today and see what I can find out throughout the week. As of right now, it certainly doesn’t look like gestational diabetes. Whew!

And hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to type without band-aids on four fingers.

Let the baby boom begin!

Great news! My cousin’s triplets were born on Sunday and although they were just under 32 weeks, mom and babies are all doing incredibly well. Amanda’s water broke (well, one of out three “waters” broke) early Sunday morning, so they took her to the hospital. They were going to keep her on bedrest for another week if possible, but then contractions started by mid-afternoon and they did an emergency C-section. Two of the babies were on CPAP machines at first, but they’re breathing fine on their own now.

Meet Aubrie Mikayla – 3# 3oz. One of the identicals, and the first one out!

Meet Bailie Rian – 3# 15oz. – She is the bigger of the identicals. Second one out!


Kilie Addison – 4# 11oz. – The non-identical of the three. Biggest and the last one out.


And as for me and Lee, we got to hear OUR baby’s heartbeat and see him/her flipping around on an ultrasound Tuesday. The little kiddo is very active! Lee was a little disappointed, but I’m thrilled to know there is just one in there! The baby’s bigger than it should be for 9 weeks, so we have another ultrasound next week to determine the due date–they think it’s more like 12 weeks right now. Not quite sure how that can be the case, but whatever! We shall see!

Hi. I am not dead.

This sad, sad little blog has been abandoned. Poor thing. There’s a lot going on in my world right now, and for some reason I think of this space as diet-and-exercise and weight-loss related. That’s not really where I am right now (though I could sure use a swift kick to get my nutrition in gear).

So! In the spirit of old times, how about some bullet points?

  • Let’s start with the bad news. I should weigh about 145 right now to be “normal.” If I had maintained all my loss, I’d still be at 161. Instead, I’m right at 185ish. I know! But it’s okay: I know healthy practices, I know how to treat myself well, I know what I need to do. Not about weight, just about wellness. It’s all good.
  • Now! Good news: my PhD program is progressing and I am 100% officially DONE with classes! That went super-fast, right? Now I have the next two years to pass my comprehensive exams and write my dissertation.
  • Better news: I’M PREGNANT!!! Only 8 weeks, so it’s super-early, but I’m super-excited. So excited, in fact, that I went and picked up furniture already and every time I think about it, I squeal “there’s a CRIB in my house!!!”

Lee & I planned this pregnancy so that the baby will be born after my exams and before I get too far into the dissertation. I have so many women in my life who struggle with infertility that I didn’t really know what to expect and didn’t take for granted that this would be fast or easy. I figured we’d try through August, and then see what happens. Surprisingly, we got pregnant quickly. Now we’re praying constantly for a big fat healthy baby! Unofficial due date is November 30th. Baby by Christmas!!

This is so exciting for my family, but it’s also hard. I have a cousin who is 31, and she has been trying to get pregnant for the last four years. Her husband is an officer in the Air Force, and he’s constantly leaving for duty or specialized training. I absolutely hate that while he’s off fighting for our freedom, Lee & I are getting pregnant at the first try. Their infertility is completely unexplained–there are no physiological causes that have been identified. Nobody understands why this happens, and I only pray that Candace and Jason will get their baby soon! Candace doesn’t live nearby and hasn’t said anything to me about the pregnancy, but I know she knows. It’s hard for her, and I wish I could fix it. 😦

But! We all know God has a plan for every family!

I also have a cousin (other side of the family) who decided to try for her second baby and got TRIPLETS! Out of the blue! The babies are due in 6 weeks, and although she’s on bedrest, the pregnancy has gone incredibly well. Triplets are coming soon, and that means a summer of baby boot camp for me!

So yeah, babies everywhere. Also, books everywhere. Time to get back to studying! One exam in August, two in September!

Dusting off the cobwebs

That creaking noise? It’s the sound of me walking up the stairs to this rickety old blog.

I just  have one small update to share: I have a broken boob.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that it was almost a year ago that I started consultations for the brachioplasty/mastopexy/augmentation. But it has been that long, and I had surgery a full six months ago. Unbelievable!

One boob is great. The other feels like it’s made of cement and aches all the time. Naked, I look ridiculously lop-sided and weird. Thankfully it’s disguised in clothing.

So I saw my surgeon yesterday and after some pharmaceutical attempts didn’t work, I’m going back in for surgery so that he can fix my capsular contracture. While I’m under, he’s going to revise my left arm as well.

I can’t believe I’m having to do this again, but whatever. Last time was horrible. I’m hoping this is a quick little fixer-upper.

December 10th. The very moment I finish teaching my last class of the semester.

And now I’m backing down these rickety old stairs again. See ya when I see ya!


I don’t know how I got in the habit of posting once a MONTH, but I did, and that’s where it is. I think it’s because my life isn’t 100% weight related right now. And I’m busy. And there’s facebook to keep up with.

But every now and then I’m drawn into thoughts/feelings that aren’t entirely appropriate for public (i.e. facebook) consumption, and these are them:

  • Seriously, I’m a moron and I do not learn my lesson. If I eat eleventy million servings of baked lays, I will enter a crazy-scary episode of what might be reactive hypoglycemia / the shakes / duuuhhh-ville. I will type things like “note to selfs” plural and not even notice. Apparently, one of my multiple personalities can’t spell. And then everything is funny. I notice phrases on TV like “she’s floppy like a duck” and can’t stop laughing. And you tell me carbs are not like DRUGS???

Actually, that’s only one bullet point. See? See what happens to me?

I never learn!

18 months

Today marks 18 months since my RNY. Somehow in my mind, I imagined weighing 155 on this day. I’m at 165, and that’s fine. That’s 20 pounds over “normal,” and that too is fine. It’s all good. It will come off or it won’t. And that’s fine.

But let’s be honest about why those twenty extra pounds are still here–food. End of story!

So a rundown of life as of now. Three major things:

  • I got a fabulous new bike! My Trek 7.2 was awesome, but she didn’t quite cut the mustard for rides upwards of 50 miles. It was time for a road bike. Behold the Trek 4.7 WSD! There is one word to describe her: smooth.


  • I’m having some anxiety about the upcoming Fall semester. I passed my first-year review in the PhD program, but this year is going to be ridiculously difficult. Not only will I finish my full-time coursework, but I’ll also have to teach for my fellowship funding. That’s no problem, except that I already work full-time. It pans out like this: take 3 classes, teach 2 classes, teach 2 classes as part of my regular job, plus all the other duties of my regular job. That’s a heck of a lot. So much, in fact, that my counselor said I should take a leave of absence from work. And that she’d be willing to write a letter stating that its “medically necessary” for my mental health. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but she’s the expert. I’ll talk with my boss in 2 weeks to work out my fall schedule. I’m hoping to cut down to about 20 hours per week, and make up the rest with vacation time. Fortunately, I have enough saved up to account for the fall semester at part-time. We’ll see!
  • As far as post-surgical healing, I’m doing great! I don’t look very different from the pictures I posted, except that my abdomen is a much less swollen. Everything feels good!

And that just about covers everything in my world. Where on earth did summer go?!

Long time no see!

Well hello there! Yes, I’ve been gone for a while. No, you probably don’t care. Yes, that means I’m going to do a bulleted list of updates. Weee!

  • I’m currently typing on my new Macbook Pro, which I looooove. My Dell crashed a few weeks back, and with it went ALL of my pictures of our honeymoon, house being built, old house, family vacations, etc. And then there was also the documents from the first year of PhD coursework. But hey, you live and learn. Yes, I got an external hard drive this time. And an iphone. I’m wired, baby!
  • I went to the Emergency Room last week. Something got stuck during lunch Tuesday, hurt like a mutha, and I finally went in Wednesday late morning. I threw up over and over again (apparently, my pouch is HUGE!) and it eventually went away. God, it was horrid.
  • I’m working VBS  this week. I have NINE two year-olds in my class, and they’re adorable and exhausting!
  • My weight is a mess. My scale needs batteries and I’m too scared to get on it anyway. I’m way past the danger zone, and I need need need to get my ass in gear. Seriously, my behavior scares me. I’ve been on two bikes rides in the past two weeks (25 miles and 40 miles), but that’s it. No gym time. I feel like  my belly is distended from here to China. I feel massive and lethargic and crappy. I know how to fix it: back to basics.
  • My healing has progressed a ton in the last week. The last hole in my arm incisions closed up. Now it’s just a matter of treating the scars so they fade! I’m so thankful the surgery was uneventful even if recovery was rough.

That’s about it without getting into super-ridiculous minutia. Life is good and getting better!

Protected: Plastics Before & After

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Nutrition Check-in

I mentioned all the areas I need to assess, and now that I’ve got vitamins squared away for the time being*, I’m trying to figure out what in the heck to do about food.

Why do I feel so lost about what I am eating versus what I “should be” eating?

Why do I feel like there’s no plan?

Well, I’m almost a year and a half out, I can eat ANYTHING (and I do mean anything), and there’s a whole world of food out there to be had. It was a lot easier when I had a list of “approved” foods for the stage I was in and I was too afraid to veer off the list. Things aren’t so simple now. I’ve got to actually figure out how to eat a healthy, balanced diet and friends–this is new territory for me.

Because let’s be honest. The post-surgical diet is no way to live long-term. 1/4 cup here, 1/4 cup there, all protein-all the time isn’t normal. Yes, our bodies obviously can survive. But now that I can eat more (a LOT more, sadly), I’d like to make sure that MORE FOOD = MORE NUTRITION. Like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, all that jazz. Not just more simple carbs.

Because while I say I can eat anything, let me be clear: anything except simple carbs compounded one after the other. Like rice followed by banana = carb coma following by sweats followed by fainting. Or, in other works, hypoglycemia. Not on my wellness plan.

But when I think about well-balanced eating, I always come back to the food pyramid and I have no idea what to do with that. What’s a protein bar? 1 protein, 1 carb, huh? Why is a potato a grain and not a vegetable? Why is low-fat sour cream a fat and not a dairy? WTF??

Melting Mama posted this info today, and it has been pretty helpful because it’s  food pyramid guideline tailored for post-op bariatric patients. Here are the links:

So here’s my action plan. I’m going to:

  1. Use these guidelines to meal plan June 1-5
  2. I’ll also food journal on livestrong to try and get calorie equivalents, but this is less important than balance
  3. Once I have a week of journaling, I’m going to send it to my University’s dietician (who I met with last week) for her review. She thinks I’m already eating pretty close to the food pyramid, so this will just be for some feedback and additional ideas.

And I have to admit, I’m going to amend some of the rules as listed on the plans. I’m currently drinking probably 30 oz per day of caffeinated beverages (*hangs head in shame*) so I’ll need to cut back more slowly. Going to 6oz cold turkey might very well kill me.

In other news, I’m going in for my 1-month follow-up with Dr. Hartog Tuesday. I’m nervous about it because I’m not so thrilled with how my arms are shaping up, and I worry that he’ll be like “oh well, they look good to me, thanks and goodbye” when what I’d really like is “yes, I see what you mean, and I can fix it!” We’ll see what happens.

I know you need before/afters, and I’m working on it. I’m going to try and get Lee to take some this afternoon, and I’ll upload tomorrow. I’ll probably make it a password-protected post since I don’t want any creeps checking it out. 🙂

* Apparently, I have no stoma and can easily swallow ginormous horse-pills. The B-50 complex pills are huge, but they go down without a fight. No wonder I never feel full!