Monday, December 21, 2009

Two months!

Saturday was two months since my sleeve! Down exactly 50 lbs at 274 :) Here are my updated photos.

I'm feeling great. I am still not eating very much. Which I guess is the whole point! Some meals I can get more in than others. I can eat about one fried egg. My go-to snack are Laughing Cow Babybel cheeses. I also eat a lot of other cheeses - room temperature is best because it tastes the best and is softest. I still can't drink regular water or anything cold without becoming nauseous. I am sticking with Crystal Lite and 100% real fruit juice with no sugar added - the juice doubles as fluid and fruit. When I am out I always get the soup since I know it won't make me sick and I just can't risk trying anything new when I'm out and about. I am so, so happy that I got the sleeve. I feel amazing. I feel better than the pictures look. I'm in lower sizes (20-22 versus 22-24) and my current size is getting too big. I wore a 18-20 shirt last weekend but I think it was too small. Regardless everything fits better since my tummy has gone down so much. I'm also in a smaller size bra and shoe. Will update again.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Recovery and Results

I've had a hard recovery full of nausea! I'm still having a hard time getting all my fluids and protein in. There are very few foods that I can tolerate and taking vitamins is a nightmare. I just received new vitamins in the mail yesterday and I think those are going to be an answer to my prayers. Bariatric Advantage calcium citrate chewy bites are amazing.

Here are some before and after pictures.

Down 32 pounds from pre-op. 28 since surgery.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Surgery Story

Well, I'm day 5 post-op and still here. I still can't believe I went through with it. I mean, I felt at peace with my decision, but you just can't help but have second thoughts. Luckily, everything went so fast I didn't have the chance to speak those second thoughts :)

As a self-pay patient, my package included a stay at a hotel near the hospital. The hospital was only about 1.5 hours away, but my doctor requested I stay at the hotel 5 minutes away instead of going straight home. My mom, husband, and I checked into the hotel on Sunday afternoon. It was beautiful! Then the hard part - I couldn't eat after 4 pm. I was starving!! And I had to drink three water bottles before midnight. It was tough, but I knew I had to do it. Now looking back, it was nothing!

Monday morning I was told to arrive at the hospital at 5:30am. I was the first patient! My husband drove me and my mom followed a few minutes later. I was called into the pre-op room and changed into my gown and safety socks (the ones with the anti-skid stuff on the bottom). One nurse came in and put an anti-nausea patch behind my ear and gave me some "chill pills". Another nurse came in to take my blood. She had some trouble with my vein and now that hand hurts worse than my IV hand. My IV was started by a third nurse a little while later and all was good. I met the nurse anesthetist and she explained what would happen. Around 7:30, Dr. Marema came in to check on me and as he left he told the nurses "it's time to rock and roll". I handed my glasses to either my husband or mom and was rolling down the hall. I remember them having some trouble keeping the bed straight and then the nurse anesthetist said "I'm going to give you the margarita medicine now." We had talked about that in the pre-op room. That's all I remember. I was OUT before I could even do the count back from 10 thing...

According to my husband and mom, I was in recovery for about an hour and then was moved to my room by 10:30am. I remember being woken up by the first shift nurse and being in a ton of pain. She was asking me to rate my pain, yada, yada. I was still so out of it and in so much pain I just groaned. I kept saying my stomach and chest hurt. I meant the upper stomach like where a person feels heartburn, but she yelled at me for using the term chest. Whatever. That's what it felt like. Actually, I thought I was feeling extreme gas, but looking back it was definitely internal pain. My mom gave me some water and rubbed my back and I fell back asleep. I remember my dad popping in a couple of times and talking to him on the phone once (he was updating me on our cats - haha!). The next thing I knew it was about 2pm and I was still in pain and pissed. The nurse said I can't have pain meds until the anesthesia fully worse off. Oh gee, thanks. Luckily, there was a bright spot. The pre-op education class nurse warned me of a drain and catheter. But with the sleeve, I didn't need either. I can't believe she worried me for nothing!! Oh well, at least I was relieved the day of surgery. Unfortunately, I didn't get that pain button like the pre-op nurse said too.

Around 4:45pm, I was finally able to take Lortab. Liquid by mouth. It was enough to make me gag. Swallowing that soon was awful. At least the pain subsided. The pain returned around 7pm and I was given a shot in my IV along with a shot of Phenergan for nausea. That put me OUT again. I was actually more comfortable in the reclining chair next to the bed than the bed. I slept in that most if not all of the first night. The night nurse of course kept waking me up and I kept asking for pain meds every time I saw her. Around 3:30am I got another shot and was out again.

The second day was filled with nausea. I couldn't swallow Lortab anymore because I would either experience a HUGE wave of nausea or actually throw up. So I gave up on the pain meds and just stuck with the anti-nausea meds. They went back and forth between Phenergan and Zofran. I guess they prefer Zofran because it doesn't knock me out, but it also didn't work at all. They wanted me awake so I could drink a hundred of those stupid medicine cups full of water, Crystal Light, tea, broth, whatever. Easier said than done! Every sip hurt and still hurts!! Because of my nausea, I stayed a second night. By the next day my IV hurt so bad from being overused that I didn't care how I felt - I just wanted to get out of there. Luckily I felt ok, so all was good. So, on Wednesday we headed back to the hotel. Right before we left the hospital I ran into a gastric bypass patient while walking my laps and she mentioned that popsicles were in the room freezer and each one counted as two medicine cups. That would have been nice to know TWO DAYS AGO!! AH!

Once at the hotel I was able to get some solid sleep and fresh air. I ate a lot of popsicles and drank water and Crystal Light. Thursday was tough as it was my first day of the pureed stage. Oh, how I wish I could have just stayed on clear liquids!

More tomorrow...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pre-op Diet - Day 4

Today is Day 4 of pre-op diet. This is so hard.

B: 1/2 protein shake, 4 oz peach
S: protein shake
L: 6 oz sf/ff yogurt with 4 oz apple
S: 1 oz nuts, 1 banana
D: don't know yet, but it will be 4 oz meat, 4 oz veggie, 4 oz whole grain/starch
S: 1/2 protein shake, 4 oz fruit

I'm STARVING!!! It drives me crazy that I can't have anything warm and/or savory until my afternoon snack. It's all sweet stuff til I can have 1oz of nuts or 1/2 cup beans. And I've always been one to like salty before sweet. Let me just tell you how much I would like a whole bag of chips with a whole tub of dip right now!!

I weighed myself yesterday morning. I probably shouldn't have as I am only going to record my weight once a week. I'll type out the official number on Friday, but I am losing. Of course, Steve is losing faster! Haha! He has been so amazing. He is eating the same things I am and oftentimes making up our meals. This morning he packed a bag for my day at work. What a guy! We talked last night about how our forever will hopefully be longer since we are getting healthy. Of course, we then oooohed and aahhhed over the Taco Bell commercial.

Wednesday morning I leave for Dallas for a three day conference. I think I am comfortable with the diet now to be adequately prepared. Lots of planning involved, but I can handle it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Goal Weight

I currently weigh 324 lbs as of my first day of pre-op diet. BMI is 52.3. My personal goal is 150 lbs to put me at a normal BMI of 24.2.

Steve is also dieting as of today and currently weighs 335. His BMI is 43. His personal goal is 195 lbs for a BMI of 25.


October 19th is the big day. There were times I thought I would never have a date on the books! Wooo hooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I started the Phase 2 diet as prescribed by my doctor today. It's a toughie! Here's the details.

8 oz skim or 1% milk
½ protein drink
4 oz fruit
Mid Morning
Protein drink
6-8 oz low fat, light yogurt
4 oz vegetable or fruit
1 oz nuts or 2 tbsp peanut butter or ½ cup beans or hummus
4 oz vegetable or fruit
4 oz protein
4 oz vegetable with 1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup whole grain starch or 1 slice whole grain bread or ½ potato
8 oz skim or 1% milk
½ protein drink
4 oz fruit

Please note: You must take the following twice daily until surgery: a fiber supplement (5 grams), multiple vitamin, calcium (600 mg), and CoQ10 (50 mg).
Be sure to intake 100 ounces of free liquid (water, crystal light, hot tea, diet iced tea, broth, decaf coffee, propel water, sugar free jell-o, sugar free popsicles, etc.) Your fiber supplements and your protein supplements count toward your 100 ounces of fluid.

You can purchase your protein drinks at many retailers, such as US Bariatric, GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe. It can be any brand as long as it contains pure whey protein, between 20 & 40 grams of protein per serving, is low fat and has less than 5 grams of total carbohydrates. If your protein supplement contains more than 40 grams of protein, you will need to cut the serving in half (i.e.: 20 grams each serving).

Ok, so my thoughts mid-way through the first day are #1 this is a lot of food in the morning and I'm not used to it! and #2 it is hard to stick with a schedule while working. I get on a call, held up in a meeting, have an unexpected visitor and then I have to rework my plan. But I will get used to it I'm sure. TMI alert...I'm having a lot of gas. My body will have to get used to the new way of eating I suppose. At least it will prepare me for the laproscopic recovery. lol.

In other news, I haven't posted a lot lately because my carpal tunnel has returned with a vengeance. I've refrained from typing long emails or participating much in my usual message boards because I don't want to aggravate it further. I've experiences CT flare-ups since I was 17 and apparently obesity can add fuel to the fire. Unfortunately, losing weight usually doesn't equal relief. So I'll probably need to have an additional surgery a little later.

So there's my update!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sometimes I don't feel like writing...

And you know what? This is my blog and I don't have to if I don't want to! Ha!
::maturity level check::

Yea, I know it's been a while, but I have plenty of excuses? Wanna hear some?

1. I've been busy. No really! The semester begun (and Fall semester is always the busiest start) and I've been doing work on the side for Steve's company.

2. My carpal tunnel has flared up big time. It's subsiding now, but for a while there I was looking for every excuse not to type.

3. My life is boring. (Ok, I know that doesn't count because my life has always been boring and that didn't stop me from starting a blog)

First things first - kitty update! I swear they are like my children. I can't wait to see them when I get home from work and they just brighten our lives up so much! Here is my most recent favorite picture of them.
Dublin is getting so big. Besides playing catch with my hair ties, his newest trick is carrying the bag of treats to the bed or to the floor next to the bed. He looks at us like he is such a good boy and deserves one (or 2 or 3 or 4...or 5).

Next up - update on VSG. My psychological evaluation is on Sept. 21st. It will be four hours long! I will need to take the whole day off since it is about an hour drive each way. I am trying to schedule my chest x-ray for the same day since they are both in the same town. My psych appt is at 12 so I should be able to squeeze it in in the morning. In surprising news, my insurance paid for my EKG. I guess the doctor coded it just the right way, so that was great. Once my psych eval and chest x-ray is done, I will be all set to schedule the surgery. My boss came down for a visit a couple weeks ago and I told him about the surgery. He was very supportive. Very nervous for me, but very supportive and told me not to even worry about my job and just to worry about myself. Whew!

Tonight I'm going to an Broadway across America show of Grease! Too bad I'm so darn tired!! This time next year will be so different...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Clearance 1 - check!

Yesterday, I went to my primary care physician. Wierd thing about this is that I've never actually seen the doctor. I always see the physician assistants. One time, I was super sick and they said the only PA available was Mary Theresa and she was new. I was desperate and usually don't care who I see, so I said sure. Now, she is all I will see. I LOVE her. I've never loved a doctor like this. She is amazing. Even knowing all of this, I was scared to tell her about the surgery. I knew that no matter what she said, in the end I would have a doctor that supports me because I would just move practices. Well, no worries - I'll be staying put! She was super encouraging and said that she is a "big fan". She performed my EKG as part of the clearance and signed off that I am a low risk patient and a good candidate for WLS. Woohoo!! I put a call into the surgery scheduler after my appointment yesterday, but I haven't heard back from her. I have a couple questions for her, but it seems like I'll be able to schedule a date soon! Next, I have to meet with a psychologist. I don't mind seeing one and I'm sure it will be helpful, but I have to drive 45 minutes to the appointment and take off of work for it. And considering I don't have a heck of a lot of paid time off, I am saving those hours for the big operation!

I still haven't told my boss. I want a firm date first. Because after his initial concerns about me (he is a kind man and considers us all his family), the first question will be when and how long. Hopefully I will be able to tell him soon!

Monday, August 3, 2009


This past weekend, Steve and I spent every waking hour working on our front living/dining room. Friday night we measured, moved, and hung. Saturday and Sunday we spent both days shopping for bargains and even last night we were up til 1am hanging up pictures. I am getting sooooo excited. But also very impatient - I just want it done!! It is going to be so beautiful that I can't wait to see it. Oh well.

In other news, my carpal tunnel has flared up big time. It has been bothering me for the past couple of weeks, but it is becoming dibilitating. I can't grip anymore and my right hand is
constantly tingling and usually hurting. I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday at 3pm to discuss it and get my clearance for surgery. The receptionist was nice on the phone when I mentioned the clearance. She said "oh ok - no problem". Seems promising. I would guess that they get this a lot now that the lap band and gastric bypass are so commonplace. I am hoping to schedule the surgery for the week of October 22. I would like to hold a big information session on October 13th or 14th for the MBA program that I recruit for before I take off for a little while. I haven't told my boss yet. I'm going to wait until I have the chance to talk to him in person or I get a firm date set, whichever comes first.

Yesterday evening, Steve and I watched Michael Moore's documentary, Sicko. It was so disturbing. It makes me so fired up to write to our congressmen. I think I will draft a letter and send it every week. I was 50% serious when I asked Steve his thoughts about moving to Canada. Too bad it's cold and our families would be too far.

Speaking of family, this is my favorite picture from last weekend's Triplet Trip!

They are getting SO BIG!!!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Chuggin along

The surgery adventure continues...

Wednesday I had my nursing assessment and was told I only need two clearances - my primary care doctor and a psychologist. The nurse said she would send me the paperwork she needs signed, but I'm still waiting on that. At this point, I'm looking at a mid to late October date due to work.

Speaking of work, I told my co-worker (the only other person in my department with me everyday) about the surgery. I was actually nervous to tell her, but she reacted pretty well. She was very excited for me.

As far as others go...the word is spreading fast. I've told a few of my friends, talked to my sister-in-law about it, and my cousin. My family is all on board. Thank goodness!! I had a good talk with my SIL last night. She had lap-band done in March 07. It felt really nice to talk with someone who knows me personally and also knows the new situation I am getting myself into. She encouraged me even more than I've felt from anything else.

And tonight we see the TRIPLETS! It feels like forever since we saw them. They are playing and running around now. I packed last night and will leave a little early today so I we can get there before dinner and have some play time before they go down for bed. I'm so excited :) Pics will be coming soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


After two weeks of nothing, I finally have some progress to report on the VSG front! I received my self-pay checklist from the "Patient Concierge" and am expecting a call from a nurse tomorrow or Thursday to determine what clearances I'll need to get before scheduling surgery. One clearance that is always required is from a psychologist. So I will be calling today to make that appointment. Hopefully I won't need many more clearances (I can only imagine I'll need one from my general practioner) and then I can schedule surgery! Once surgery is scheduled, they will then schedule the nutritionist appointment, required lifestyle class, and pre-op appointments. I'm so happy to have a game plan now. Here is the content of the self-pay checklist I received from U.S. Bariatrics:
  1. Attend U.S. Bariatric’s INFORMATION SESSION. (done)
  2. Complete the PATIENT DEMOGRAPHIC PACKET supplied at the information session. (done)
  3. Make a copy of your PHOTO ID and submit with patient demographic packet. (done)
  4. Complete the ONLINE REGISTRATION using your Housecall logon ID and password that was emailed to you. (done)
  5. Contact our PATIENT CONCIERGE to confirm your financing needs. (done)
  6. A U.S. Bariatric nurse will call you to complete your NURSING ASSESSMENT.
  8. Using your Nursing Assessment form, complete the prescribed pre-operative TESTS AND CLEARANCES. Fax all results.
  9. OPEN HOSPITAL ACCOUNT – Call to pre-register with Flagler Hospital. A $2,000 deposit is required to complete this step. (If you are paying via Capital One Healthcare Finance or Care Credit, please contact our Patient Concierge)
  10. Once office has received all prescribed tests and clearances, you can SCHEDULE your pre-operative physical, nutrition education, and surgery.
  11. CHEST X-RAY AND GENERAL BLOODWORK – Completed at Flagler Hospital, in St. Augustine, the day before your scheduled surgery

Friday, July 17, 2009

Painting and waiting...

Steve finished painting our front room! It is a living/dining combo and here is the general feel we are going for:We painted the walls Behr Premium Plus Ultra (paint and primer in one) eggshell finish in "Offshore Mist". We are accesorizing with white, ebony, and shells. A beachy/nautical vibe. I'm very excited!! Now that the walls are done I can start to have fun!

As far as the VSG goes, I'm still waiting to hear back from the surgeon's office. I called on Monday and they said they submitted my information to insurance on Wednesday 7/8 (the day after the seminar) and it can take up to 2 weeks to hear back. I know that insurance won't cover the surgery, but now I'm wondering if it will cover anything like pre-op visits or lab work. Maybe that's why it's taking so long. Then I kick myself for getting my hopes up. In any case, I'm getting very anxious to get the show on the road!

My knees have begun hurting me in the past few days. I can't hardly stand to get up from a sitting position on the floor anymore. Last night, Dublin hit a toy under the stove. I was using a wire hanger to get it and when I tried to stand my knees wanted to collapse. Even sitting in my chair at work it is hard to stand up. Also, my skin is going CRAZY. I've never had skin problems except a little extra dryness and a pimple every once in a while. Now, I am itchy all over from an extreme level of dryness and my chest is covered in blemishes! Not to mention I'm getting little skin tags all over the place. I found two on my neck yesterday. They are very tiny, but it is only a matter of time before they become giant I'm sure. I am so sick of being so miserable!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vacation recap!

Steve and I had a GREAT time on our weekend getaway. We desperately needed to take some time off of work and relax. We knew the house was big and we knew it was on the beach, but we had never seen pictures of it. WOW - we were surprised just how nice it was! The views were amazing and the home was so comfortable. And we really were about twenty steps and a short ramp away from his private beach. Here are some photos:

Yea, I'm not going to win any photography awards any time soon. But in my defense they were taken on my phone. Here's a breakdown of our weekend.

Thursday (my birthday!) - we slept in and left our house around 11. Steve took me to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. He doesn't ever like to go there and I do. Since it was my birthday, I got my way! We arrived at the beach house around 1 or 1:30. The owner was right behind us to make sure we got settled ok and to give us some information. As soon as he left, I was in my bathing suit and down on the beach! Steve was so cute and set up my umbrella and went inside and made me a margarita (no salt of course)! After about 45 minutes, the clouds started turning black so I made my way up to the house, showered, and took a nap! That night we found an Outback for dinner and I had 2 yummy Wallaby Darned drinks (like a frozen peach bellini). Back to the house and we fell asleep to the sounds of rain and the ocean.

Friday - I woke up around 9:30 and Steve was already up at downstairs. We went to breakfast at this little hole-in-the-wall place at the pier and then walked across the street to a beach home decor shop. That's where I received my inspiration for our newest home improvement project! I will get to that in a later post. Let me just say that Steve is probably on a ladder as I type. :) After we did some shopping, we walked around a farmer's market and shared a fresh-squeezed lemonade. Back to the house and I took another nap! When I woke up, Steve had started a project. He put together the owner's air hockey table in the basement as a thank you for letting us stay there. That gave me plenty of quality reading time! Love, love, love the Janet Evanovich Plum series. My mom had given me Finger Lickin' Fifteen for my bday and I finished that up while we were at the house. Friday night we went to a cute place for dinner and then went to the movies. I convinced Steve to see Bruno and he was not very happy with me! After the movie, we got ice cream at a little shop near the beach and headed home.

Saturday - our last day! boo! Out to breakfast at the little restaurant again. We could watch the surfers from our table and it was definitely a dangerous day for swimming in the ocean. My dad brought the motorcycle up to check out the house in the late morning. Of course, he was shocked at how lucky we are to have the opportunity to stay there! After a brief tour of the house, we changed into our bathing suits and headed down to the beach. It was such a beautiful day but it was hot and I couldn't resist taking a short swim in the ocean. After about 10 minutes of fighting the gigantic waves, I gave up and laid out on a towel. A little while later, the clouds started moving in so my dad left and we packed up. We said goodbye to the beach house and headed back home. We made a few stops to pick up necessities for our living room and dining room redesign and then headed home to see our kitties!

We had a FABULOUS time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Birthday, Promotion, Vacation, Oh my!


My parents, brother, and grandma came over tonight to celebrate my birthday (tomorrow). I received AMAZING gifts including diploma frames, beach goodies, new book, food processor, and cash. We had a great time as usual and my brother got to meet Dublin for the first time! While everyone was here, Steve got a phone call from his boss and went in his office and shut the door. I was a little irritated since his boss was calling after hours, but that disappeared when Steve came out and told me he was receiving a promotion!! I am so, so happy. He has been working his ass off and receiving little to no reward. This has been going on for a loooong time. He will now be at a manager level and I'm sure will do amazing.

Tomorrow morning Steve and I are waking up and going to Flager Beach to stay at a beach house owned by one of the professors at the university I work. He allows people to stay there free of charge. How great is that? His house is 5 bedrooms, 5000 square feet, and located steps away from the beach. I can't WAIT for some desperately needed "Steve and Jen" time! Needless to say, I will probably neglect my blog for the next couple of days. :)

Will return Sunday!

Our insurance dilemma

My husband and I both work full time and are currently under his insurance. But our companies both have very similar policies and neither cover wls. I have done a lot of research and it seems as though BCBS of FL has an exclusion to all their policies with private employers that prevents any weight loss surgery to be covered regardless of medical necessity. My HR department was interested in helping me by adding a rider to our policy, but BCBS told them it wasn't an option. I've had a lot of people look into it for me and it doesn't seem to be in the cards. While it pains us to spend the cash when we know it is covered in so many other circumstances and for so many other people, we have accepted that that is what we have to do. We cannot wait around for the slight possibility that are circumstances may change. There is too much at risk.

WLS Seminar

Last night was the weight loss surgery seminar by U.S. Bariatrics.  Dr. Marema's colleague, Dr. Koppman, was there to speak to us.  I really liked him and would feel 100% comfortable with him performing my surgery.  This is the second seminar we've attended.  The first was with Dr. Sebastien in Daytona.  I left last night feeling 10 times more comfortable with Dr. Marema and Dr. Koppman than I felt with Dr. Sebastien.  Of course, it didn't help that Dr. Sebastien was not in attendance at our seminar.  In addition to feeling better about the doctors, we also like the facility where they operate better.  

Flagler Hospital is a short drive away and has a recently remodeled wing set up special for U.S. Bariatrics.  Pictures can be seen on the contractor's website:  Steve has always been supportive of my decision to get surgery, but he was a little scared when I switched from thinking about the band (leaving everything intact, reversible) to the sleeve (changing my anatomy forever).  However, I did a lot of research and encouraged him to do the same and I feel like he's on board with it now.  

In the beginning of last night's seminar, Dr. Koppman was going over obesity's co-morbidities and effects.  Steve kept looking over at me or squeezing my hand because it was like Dr. Koppman was talking about me.  Lately, I've had these awful headaches.  I'll take an Aleve or Advil and then 4 hours later need another one.  Well, Dr. Koppman mentioned that many of his patients come in complaining of chronic headaches.  They are caused by blood pressure problems in the brain.  Even if the patient doesn't suffer from traditional high blood pressure (like me), they can still have problems in the brain.  Scary stuff.  He also talked briefly about sleep apnea (which I don't think I have, but Steve is pretty sure he has) and it scared the bejeezus out of Steve.  At the end of the seminar, Steve even mentioned that if he can't lose the weight with me after my surgery that he would think about wls himself.  Funny thing is that I was more worried at that statement than I am about myself going through it.

After dinner, we went to a restaurant that a former neighbor recommended.  We talked things through and really feel like I cannot wait for the small chance that our insurance circumstances might change.  I'll be waiting around forever and from all the research I've done the #1 regret of wls patients is that they didn't do it sooner.  I want to be able to enjoy my life more.  I don't want to avoid traveling with friends because I can't keep up with them.  I don't want to feel so damn tired anymore.  I want to be able to bend over in the car if I drop my cell phone (when I'm a passenger of course).   Not to mention the wider selection of clothes I can buy if I'm not a "plus size".  The cost of the procedure, including all surgery-related costs and complication insurance, is $17,765.  About $3000 more than we were expecting.  But a practical and safe car would cost just as much and wouldn't have the return on investment that the VSG surgery provides.  I applied for a medical loan last night and we were approved.  We will receive a Care Credit credit card in the mail shortly with the details.  

The patient coordinator told us last night that for self-pay patients, the soonest we can have surgery is 4-6 weeks.  That's ok by me!  That seems like such a short time away compared to how long I've been living like this.  My next hurdle is getting the time off of work.  I've emailed our benefits manager to find out my options.  

Overall, I am feeling very positive about this! (And the roller coaster continues...)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Surgery update

I was planning on waiting until December for the surgery since I have "free" holidays at work (I work at a university) between Christmas and New Year's, but hearing that my bff is pregnant reminds me even more how much I want to start a family. My husband and I don't want to wait an extra 5-6 months on top of the already 12-18 months I'll have to wait before getting pregnant. I'm going to try to find a way to take the time off before then which won't be easy since I only get 2 weeks off a year for vacation and have already had to take days here and there for weddings, out of town visits, etc. I was sick about 2 months ago and used up practically all of that time too. My boss is super understanding and I was planning on just telling him the truth (we are like a little family), but after my bff's reaction, now I'm nervous about what he's going to say/think.

Tonight is the information seminar with Dr. Marema. I'm nervous that once I meet with him he won't think I'm a candidate for VSG (I have no reason to believe this, it's just me being irrational). So while I'm happy to get the ball rolling, I'm scared this journey won't play out like I thought it would in my head.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Some loose ends

I realized I have mentioned several items on this blog and then forget to follow up! So here are some general updates:

Candy - She is healing nicely. The wounds are looking better and she is wagging her tail again! My mom emailed the local news to inform them about the coyote and then ended up going to their house and taping an interview with my dad. It was on the 11 o'clock news as the top story!

Our kitties - Harley and Dublin are doing very well! They love each other now and only occasionally fight :) Dublin has his neutering and declawing yesterday and we picked him up from the vet today. He is doing well. His little pupils are so dialated from the pain pills (which are a PAIN IN THE ASS to give him!) so his eyes are looking more like Harley's! Harley's eyes are always big - I guess it is because he is generally anxious all the time. Tomorrow (well technically today since it is 1am) we are celebrating Harley's first birthday. The vet estimated a July 4th birthday for him. And Dub's is estimated as March 17th so we have two holiday babies.

The HOLE! - After a weekend of work, my dad and Steve have successfully patched the hole in the ceiling. We now have satellite TV and all is well. lol.

TTC - we definitely aren't preventing, but there is no use in actively trying. My cycles are so screwy and I would rather lose a lot of weight before getting pregnant anyhow. I will have to go on BCP when I get the VSG surgery because it is not safe to get pregnant until at least 12 months post-op (and some surgeons recommend 18). I'm ok with that considering once I get the "ok" to TTC again we will hopefully have better luck since my body will be in a better place. In any case, as least a doctor will be willing to help us. It looks like I'll be 27-28 at the earliest when we have our first baby. Which is great!

Well, they we go. I feel better now that I've given some of these items closure. I've also changed my layout a bit. Added labels and a new background. Now that I'm posting regularly on and link my sig to my blog, I figured it better look presentable. Haha. I still don't have the courage to share my blog with anyone IRL. Maybe one day.

To conclude on a happy note here is a pic of Dub from today!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Weight loss surgery

After almost a year of research, I have decided to get weight loss surgery.  I will be attending a bariatric surgeon's seminar next Tuesday 7/7/09 (which, coincidently, is Steve and I's 7 year dating anniversary).  I've attended one before with another surgeon, but have changed my mine and decided to see Dr. Marema in St. Augustine.  He is one of the best surgeons and has performed many thousands of surgeries.  The surgery I have chose is the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  It is a purely restrictive surgery and works by removing approximately 85% of the stomach.  At first I thought I would have the lap-band, but it seems as though the complication rate of the lap-band is increasing as the years go by.  It doesn't seem like a feasible long-term solution.  The VSG just feels right to me.  I'm excited to get the process started, but I have to wait until December to have the surgery.  I don't receive many days off at work and in December the university shuts down for a week between Christmas and New Year's.  That will act as a buffer for my time off.  Some people need up to 3 weeks while others less than a week.  I guess it will all depend.  I'm so excited!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wow - what a night

So, last night my cousin Heather and her daughter, 5 year old Megan, came to visit Steve and I.  They are on a long trip and stopping to see everyone they can on the way.  Super cool.  Anyways, I love seeing them and we were having a great time.  Until, around 9:30 my mother calls me.  She's panicking and our family dog (they've had since I was 11) had been attacked by a coyote.  They've been having coyote problems for a while but I guess no one they've call has really done anything about it.  My mom called me back when they were on their way to the animal hospital and said she was bleeding everywhere and barely breathing.  It turns out the coyote got her on both sides of her neck, puncturing both carotid arteries.  They were able to get things under control and they think she is going to be alright.  She goes back this evening for a check-up.  They are concerned about infection and the poor baby is just so miserable.  I was a WRECK last night.  I felt like such a baby, but we thought for sure she would be put down.  Now I can't wait to go over there and see her.  Even though my mom said she just wants to be left alone.  Aww.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keeping Up...


Well, sadly, Bill passed away shortly after my last post.  He was able to go peacefully, but it has been very hard on his family.  I'm sure this Sunday will be tough for his two boys as the first Father's Day without him.

Onto happier news, we adopted a new kitty!  We (well, really just me) felt like Harley needed a friend.  He just seemed so lonely moping around the house all by himself.  Once I convinced Steve of this idea, he started looking up pets for adoption on  Let me take this time to say how important it is to go the adoption route.   There are so many abandoned and neglected animals that need homes that there is no reason to support ignorant people who breed
 their animals for fun or stupidly choose not to spay/neuter.  But I digress...

So, Steve fell in love with a picture of a little tiger kitty called "Little Boy Blue".  We contacted the foster mom and was able to get the kitty the next week!  His story is so sad.  The rescue group was given a tip that baby kittens were dumped into the dumpster behind a local Chinese buffet in town.  The owner of the restaurant wanted to just leave them for the garbage truck to come collect.  Well, the rescue group went out there as soon as they heard and it happened to be garbage day.  Our kitty and his sister were rescued hours before they would have been killed no doubt.  I only hope there weren't more kitties in there that couldn't be located.

The vet approximated his birthday to be St. Patrick's Day.  In honor of his newly-found Irish background (and because it is so darn cute), we named him Dublin Murphy.  Murphy is my grandmother's maiden name.  Without further ado...

He has a little orange nose.  His mother was Siamese.  He is the WILDEST little bugger ever!  Harley and him had a rough start, but now they are best buds.

'Til next time...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sad news

My parents' neighbor, Bill, was diagnosed with brain cancer a couple years ago.  He is now 47 and checked into the hospital last night to live his final days.  Just a couple weeks ago, it was found that the cancer had completely engulfed his brain and nothing else could be done.  He leaves behind his wife and two sons, 18 and 16.  He was always so pleasant to be around and truly loved life.  He will be missed tremendously.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Hole

This past weekend, Steve fell through the ceiling.  Yes, my adorable husband dangled through the rafters like a monkey while insulation exploded into every crevice of our home office.  Poor Steve.  He was running an ethernet cable, slipped, and came through the drywall.  He pulled himself back up because it was still to far to fall.  I'm so glad he didn't get hurt.  But OMGOSH THERE IS A HOLE IN THE CEILING!  Ok, not anymore, but there was.  My dad came over Sunday and helped Steve patch it up (rather, my dad patched it up while Steve played gopher).  Here are some pictures.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wow, what is wrong with me?

I haven't posted in SOOOO long! First up, we did adopt Harley Davidson into the family after my mom nursed him back to health. Here is an updated picture. He is SUCH a STINKER! Doesn't really like to cuddle and loves to ATTACK us from behind corners, doors, pillows, etc. He also loves playing with the water in the sink and shower. Strange little one he is.

No, I'm still not pregnant. I put on more weight and now I'm trying to lose it again. I currently have 3 pregnant students where I work and am more ready than ever to have a little one. :(

In the meantime, Steve and I have been spending time with our friends and each other. I'm so glad I have a husband that I enjoy being around. :) Here's a picture of us from our 1st wedding anniversary in St. Augustine - 12/8/08.