Goodbye 2007

Today’s post isn’t about New Year’s resolutions or looking forward into 2008, but looking back on the year that has come and gone. It seems strange to be sad about a year ending, but life is good, and things are changing, and how I’d love for some of them to simply stay the same.

I’m proud of my 2007. It was a life-changing year. I made a lot of decisions that are healthy for me.

In January, Lee & I closed on the new house that took forEVER to build. I’ll never forget our first night here. With the mattress on the floor of the  master bedroom and the stereo playing soft, gentle music, I slept better than I had in AGES. Maybe it was because we had the first noisy, rowdy sex we’d had in months… just wasn’t possible living at my parents house during the transition from the old house to the new. I love this home. I love living here. Thank you God, for putting us here.

In April, finally decided I was sick of feeling like utter crap and decided to DO something about my weight. I decided on weight loss surgery and set a plan in motion. I saw a new primary doctor, and he took excellent care of me. I found out about sleep apnea and began sleeping well again.  I started seeing a nutritionist. I went to surgery information meetings. I took steps.

Up through September, I continued my 6 month supervised diet and I was vigilant about keeping appointments and seeking help and preparing for surgery. I told a few family members and some close friends about my decision. I kept losing weight.

In November and December, insurance ruled my thoughts. The bottom line is that I was approved and all is well. I also retook the GRE exam and scored a 1380… high enough for a fellowship in my PhD program that begins in August. Praise you, God, for miracles. I’m in awe.

And today, on the last day of 2007, I look back over the year proud of the steps I’ve taken and the things I’ve done. I’m not ignoring my problems, I’m facing them. I’ve decided to take control of my life. I’m seeking help from others instead of retreating within. I’m drawing boundaries. I’ve learned more about my husband and my marriage than ever before, and I have hope for our future. I’m learning to lean on God in ways that aren’t sterile or church-y, but very real. I am not afraid.

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Goings-On

The past week has been more than hectic. Last weekend, I threw my sister a bachelorette party and it was a blast. We met at a hotel, had a nice dinner, she opened gifts, and then we hung out at Howl at the Moon until the wee hours of the morning. I had a blast, though I ingested far too many calories in adult beverages. Our friends were buying Rachel drinks all night, and the combo of whatever it was she drank didn’t settle well… poor girl upchucked the moment we stepped out of the bar and all night long.

The next couple of days were spent last-minute Christmas shopping, cookie baking, and gift-wrapping. I gave my husband a new motorcycle jacket and he went out on a ride a couple of days ago and complained about how hot it was… duh honey!, you’re supposed to take the winter lining OUT of the jacket when it’s 80 degrees in Florida! (Yep, 80.)

Christmas was wonderful as always. Somehow my sister and Greg missed the get-together at his Grandparent’s house out of town, so they ended up staying with our side of the family for both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. It was great having Rach there the whole time!

On Wednesday, I went to see a new therapist in order to stave off transfer addictions or other issues resulting from WLS. We clicked immediately… I already love going to see her. She didn’t focus on my weight (as in numbers) or try to discuss my diet like a nutritionist. Instead, she focused on Who Am I? type issues and the like. Her last comment before I left our first appointment was, “If your husband ever wants to come in for one of your sessions… tell him to get his own therapist!” It was pretty funny… I do have a tendency to want to take care of him before taking care of myself. She made it clear this is My Time to talk about ME and that I shouldn’t give that up. I look forward to seeing her again in a few days.

Then I moved immediately into wedding mode. I spent Thursday cleaning out my sister’s room at my parent’s house… that room was like nothing you can imagine. It was piled high with clothes that have been on the floor forEVER. We threw away probably 8 huge trash bags of junk, cleaned and washed everything that was left, and got her ready for her move to Jacksonville. I also collected a bunch of clothes in smaller sizes for my upcoming weight loss–can’t wait until I need them!

Friday was manicure/pedicures, a bridal luncheon, and massages. I’ve never had a message before (well, except from my husband) and it was AMAZING. The masseuse, though, talked the entire time which was sort of annoying. Even so, I felt 100% better once she was done. I got her card and may have to make massages a new part of my self-care routine! Later than night we did the rehearsal dinner which was very elegant. It was a beautiful evening!

And yesterday was my little sister’s wedding day. There’s so much to say that I’ll save it for another post (with pictures!). She looked gorgeous of course and it was a beautiful ceremony. The reception was also wonderful… lots of dancing as the night wore on! Pictures to come!

And today is the first day I can really relax. Lee’s at work and I’m at home doing laundry, cleaning out filing cabinets, and trying to get the house reorganized. Lee’s off tomorrow so we’ll find something fun to for New Year’s Eve. I’m really looking forward to 2008!

23 days to surgery!

The pre-op information packet has arrived!

I love getting the details–you know, so I can add the dates to my calendar and get it all scheduled out. The pre-op information packet arrived in the mail, although it didn’t include much that I didn’t already know. Points of interest:

  • I am required to bring my spouse with me to the pre-op visit. Lee was going to come anyway, but it’s interesting that there’s no choice in the matter. I can’t imagine doing this without a spouse’s support, so I’m glad they require spousal participation. As of right now, the plan is to bring both Lee and my mother along for the appointment.
  • One line in the letter stuck out to me as especially ironic. It reads: “We have made all the necessary arrangements for you to undergo the Lap. Gastric Bypass Surgery” (emphasis added). That just makes me chuckle. I want to retort, “No, I’ve made all the arrangements, thankyouverymuch. I did a 6 month diet that included at least 25 different doctor’s appointments. I scheduled, paid for, and compiled the results of multiple pre-op tests. I compiled the information necessary for insurance submission, and I fought with insurance to get the right letter. You’ve made all the arrangements? Pshaw!” But that’s just because I’m a little snarky sometimes.
  • On January 22nd, my admit time at the hospital is 6:00 am. Crikey!
  • The instructions say to stop taking blood thinners, aspirin, or Plavix 5 days before surgery. When I met with the nurse in my pre-op visit, he said I could go on Heparin 2 weeks before surgery if I chose to in order to prevent blood clots, but this letter says no blood thinners. So I’m a little curious about whether I’ll be able to get Heparin after all.
  • It says, “Please start a high protein / low carb diet as soon as possible.” Well that means after Christmas. Because right now, it just ain’t happening. I’ll start Wednesday.
  • It also says, “At least two weeks prior to surgery, please advance your diet to a Liquid Protein Diet. (Please replace two of your meals with the protein shakes and have one high protein / low carb meal). You can use Low-carb Slim-fast shakes or the Dr. Atkins advantage drinks. If you are a soda drinker, please stop now and replace sodas with water.” So I guess that’s their version of the pre-op liquid diet? I’m tempted to start this earlier than two weeks before surgery… the shakes would definitely be easy once I go back to work January 2nd. I’d really like to lose as much as possible before surgery. Maybe I’ll pick up some shakes at the grocery store this afternoon.

And that’s it. Everything else in the packet was FMLA paperwork (don’t need it) or directions to their office.

This is it. It’s real. It’s happening. 30 days!

32 days!

And counting! I can’t wait to get info from my surgeon’s office on the pre-op details: when to begin the liquid diet, what else I need to do to prepare. It’s like waiting on the school supplies list when I was a kid. Except this involves cutting my guts up. But anyways…

Like half the world, I read Dooce on a regular basis. I’ve been intrigued by her battle with depression. I especially enjoyed her husband’s take on what it’s like to live with a person who suffers from depression.

I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s an ongoing concern. My husband carries a lot of baggage from his childhood, and I can only pray that he’ll become more open to therapy as time goes on. We went to one session and he thought he was cured… until the next low point. I pray for him constantly–for his mental health, for his happiness. The good news is that he has made plans to speak with a career counselor about his unhappiness at work and the possibility of a new career path. Hey, any visit to a counselor is a victory!

In the meantime, I’ve made an appointment myself to see a new psychologist. I want to be sure I’ve got all the right support going into surgery and dealing with “Life After Stuffing My Face” afterwards. There’s way too much chatter about transfer addictions to pretend I’m not vulnerable. I’ve got to be proactive.

Next on the agenda: Christmas shopping all afternoon, then wrapping presents and cleaning house. Tomorrow night: throw my sister a kick-ass bachelorette party and then spend all day Sunday recovering.

Merry Christmas!

Feels so good

With about an hour and a half left in my work day, I just had my first lull of the day and I noticed something: I’m not waiting on a call back from anybody! I’m not waiting to see if a letter has arrived or been faxed or included the right thing or if so-and-so called whats-her-name back.

I’ve lost 59 pounds since April, but this? THIS makes me feel a whole lot lighter!

And now I have a NEW surgery date…

Pre-op appointment January 17th, surgery January 22nd. Turns out Dr. Jawad was booked on the 16th. The 15th is still open, but I don’t want my mom spending her birthday waiting for me to come out of surgery.

It’s now 34 days to surgery.

After all this waiting, you’d think I’d be clamoring to get the earliest surgery date possible, but I’m actually quite calm. I’m grateful the insurance fiasco is over, and now I can concentrate on preparing my mind and body for this change.

Dr. Jawad’s office is going to mail me a packet of information by the end of this week that details my pre-op instructions. There’s a 2-week liquid diet and a pre-op appointment that includes a meeting with a nutritionist, nurse, Dr. Jawad himself, as well as an EKG and other blood tests.

Yay, yay, YAY!

I HAVE A SURGERY DATE!!!

Finally!!  They offered me January 15th, which is my mother’s birthday. I can’t ruin her birthday like that, so I opted for the 16th instead. Woohoo!!

The 29-day countdown is ON!