The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning!

For the first time in I don't even know how many days, it is perfectly clear. Not a cloud in the sky. The weather people are still threatening us with "scattered showers" but it's supposed to be in the low 70s, and that's good enough for me. I don't even need it to be hot, just sunny. Our deck starts getting sun right about noon, but we'll probably go out a little earlier just to get outside.

We broke in the new BBQ on Saturday -- 4 rib-eyes. It works well, and we're going to do burgers and chicken breasts tonight. I've never really warmed up to gas grills, but since the only place for a BBQ is on our (wood) deck, we figured a charcoal grill would not be the best choice. One of the big pluses is that I don't have to worry about getting the charcoal started and wait for the coals to be hot enough to cook. Plus the clean up is easy.

The upcoming week will be a little crazy at work since it's a short week, the admin who has been out is coming back from her leave, I will be participating in an all day Job Fair (acting as a greeter), plus I have to get ready for my week off. I do have to decide what I'm going to do long term with my career. I was notified last week that there is a job posting for a Team Leader back in travel for the new Minneapolis main office. There are a lot of pluses and minuses to consider. One of the biggest advantages of taking this job would be the increase in salary. I would be very close to what I was making back in Los Angeles, and with the cost of living difference, it would actually be significantly more, dollar-for-dollar. Of course, I would have to deal with leading a team and some of the same issues I have already dealt with. With the travel industry so shaky, I don't know what the long-term possibilities are. On the other hand, with my current division spinning off (we're now going to be Ameriprise Financial), I also don't know what the long-term potential is. Who knows? They could decide to reduce staff or my advancement could be limited. Big decisions. I have to decide on submitting my application by Friday.

I am happy to say that we got the bedroom curtains put up and they look great. Now if I could just get around to replacing the ones in the family, living and dining room. I would still like to get a new stove (hopefully next week) and a new fridge. Both appliances are ticking me off -- the fridge is too small and the burners on the stove are uneven. There are so many home improvements I want to make to get this house to feel like a home. There are little things -- like new curtains -- and big things -- like finishing the basement. I hope to get some of the stuff done on my week off -- like finally hanging all of my pictures.

Off to enjoy the outdoors, fresh air and the sun!

Friday, May 27, 2005

....And Mice Will Play

The Friday before a three-day weekend is always dead around the office, which is one of the reasons I don't take it off. My boss and 4 of the 6 Team Leaders are gone, so it will be resonably quiet. I need to get payroll done since we are closed on Monday, but I can rip through that. What I'm hoping is to buckle down and get everything done by about 2:00 or so and leave early. The best part is that there is no one in my row, so I shouldn't get a lot of foot traffic to distract me. Of course, even though I have things to do, I'm here updating my blog...

No big plans for the weekend -- I know, big surprise. I did get curtains for the bedroom last weekend but haven't hung them, so that's on the list. We're not supposed to have great BBQ weather, but I may try to fire up the new grill just to break it in. Burgers and a few beers sounds pretty good. Maybe some grilled corn. I kind of miss being able to grill all year round, although it's amazing how many of our neighbors used their grills even during the winter.

Still haven't heard from the doctor's office. I know it's just been two weeks since I mailed the forms in, but I would have hoped that they would have called by now. I continue to do my research, and I think I will be putting together a WLS binder as suggested in one of my books. The best suggestion so far has been to "train" your body for surgery -- stretch, exercise, practice deep breathing, eliminate excess salt/sugar/carbs/caffiene/alcohol from your diet, eat your protein and then your veggies, drink lots of water, etc. Most of it I already do, but I need to continue to focus on making little changes now so if I do have the surgery I won't have to start from scratch. If I end up deciding not to have the surgery, I will still have some good habits started.

Reading these books, I have really re-thought my relationship with food. For some of us, we attach unnatural importance to food. We give it power that it doesn't deserve. Why can a glazed doughnut make us feel any better than a walk around the block? Because we let it. I'm a little scared that at some point I won't be able to mindlessly fill a void with food, and I'll have to actually face the issue. In the long run I know that is not only healthier physically but psychologically as well.

I'm sure as I continue to delve deeper into this, I will write more about my own feelings and attitudes towards food. Hopefully a lot of the writing will be cathartic for me.

Ahhh, well, better actually get some work done so I can get out of here a little early this afternoon.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Sunny Monday

Finally, some sun! Here in Minneapolis, sixteen of the 22 days of March have had some kind of precipitation. It did rain heavily on Saturday morning, but cleared up by 11:00 or so. Yesterday, it was nice but pretty windy with gusts up to 30 mph. Didn't matter, though, we camped out on the deck for a few hours. Today, it's gorgeous. I even had to wear my sunglasses in! I hope it's this nice for the long weekend.

One of the things I did do this weekend was rip through one of my WLS books I got from It was mostly a re-hash of what I've already heard, but the last third of the book is all stories from those who have had the surgery, good and bad. It was interesting reading how some people wished they never had it and some who say they would do it again. One of my favorites was of a woman who decided to have hers done in Mexico and since she had several "elective" surgeries before, thought she was prepared for it. In the end, she comes off as kind of a whiner complaining that the staff didn't speak English. I did like hearing about some of the more negative aspects because up to now, all I've heard is good, positive things. I want to hear about the embarassing gas, bad breath, constant (psychological) cravings, etc. I do not want to go into this with rose color glasses, only to come away disappointed and disillusioned.

In preparation for meeting with the nurses, dieticians, etc. I am really focusing on a food and exercise journal. I know that this is a requirement and I should probably keep one anyway. I don't know why, but I haven't been very hungry as of late. I seem to be eating about 2 meals a day, if that, but I also seem to be snacking more than usual. I figure a journal will help me look at some patterns as well as seeing where cravings come in. Maybe I will find an alternate plan with the dietician (fast, liquid diet, etc.) before making a life-altering decision on the surgery.

Off to get some grunt work done. I have a ton of copies to make, which bores me to tears, but it needs to get done TODAY, and I've put it off for the last week. At least once it's done, it will be off my desk!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My, How Time Flies

I was looking at a calendar today and realized that we are about 10 days from MEMORIAL DAY!! What the hell? We're almost half way through the year? I swear, time speeds up when you get older. It was just New Year's, right?

I am loving my new iPod. I have about 4500 songs uploaded to my computer (A - Si) but haven't had the chance to download them to the iPod. I listen to it in the car and at work. What I love about it is the ability to play almost any song in my library at whim. I've heard Cat Stevens to Dave Matthews to Chris Issak to k.d. lang to Madonna -- and that's just been in the last hour. I keep it on random so I get a great mix, although I could see picking a genre or artist based on mood.

I'm still waiting for "the call" from the doctor's office. Now that I've sent all the paperwork in, I'm anxious to at least get to the next step which is a meeting with one of the nurses. At least that way I can get some specific questions answered. When Don and I were at Mall of America over the weekend we went into Barnes and Noble since I was going to look at some of the books on WLS and they don't carry any. I can order them on-line, but I was a little suprised that they didn't have any on the shelves. I ended up ordering two from and will hopefully get them shortly.

I'm busy training the new admin this week. I am so glad I finally have help. I don't want to "dump" everything on her at once but there are days when I am just amazed at how much has to get done around here, and how often those tasks fall to the admins.

No big plans for the weekend. It's been raining for what seems like forever, but it makes everything green, so at least it's pretty out. I would like to see some sun soon, and on a weekend would be nice. What I'm really looking forward to is a week of vacation starting in 16 days. I cannot wait. We have a weekend in Cleveland planned to see Don's mom and family. We haven't seen them since our wedding 6 years ago, so I guess it's time. I can't believe it's been that long, though. There are times like this that I really feel in a time warp.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Photo Monday

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The inside of my fridge...I hate the freezer on top! I did go shopping yesterday, so we have yogurts, fresh fruit, bubbly water, etc.

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Jager on watch in our front window. She and Baja have really made the loveseat their own. Guess they miss our window seat in our LA house. She's barking at the chipmunk eating some "critter food" I got.

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Baja & Jager in the bed. The other big lump is Don. This was actually taken in LA in our queen bed. We have a king-sized bed now, but Don and I don't seem to have any more room -- or any more blankets!

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I used this photo as our 2003 Christmas card. They often sleep curled up together, usually with Jager using Baja's butt as a pillow.

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A very boring picture of what's under the bed -- which is nothing. That's a good thing about having 2 guest rooms since I can use THOSE two beds for storage.

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Since I have such a boring "under the bed" photos, I've included my closet. Yes, it is h-u-g-e, and I wish I was more of a clothes horse so I could get more use out of it.

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I am very proud of this showerhead. I installed it by myself. It's great, and it has two settings.

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This is one of our resident birds. I've been trying to get a photo of the bird that is nesting in this bird house name marker-thingy our realtor got us as a housewarming gift. It's a little bird house on a stake with our last name painted on it. A little blue/white/black finch (?) has built a nest in it.

Thanks for everyone who had a photo request. It was actually a lot of fun. I didn't get a chance to post over the weekend since on Saturday Don and I went to Mall of America and I purchased my new 60gb iPod. Yep, 15,000 songs at my fingertip. I was able to load artists A - M and that was 3967 songs, so I'm glad I shelled out the extra $100.00 to double the size. I also got the car adapter, and that is awesome.

Work has been kicking my ass. At least one of the new admins started and we should get the one who has been out on leave back in the next two weeks. I have about 6 projects going on plus my daily, weekly and monthly duties, meetings and deadlines. I am so beat when I get home, I usually don't eat dinner. Last week I had 11 hours of OT, and that's just what I claimed. Today, it was about 2 1/2. What's making it worse is that my usual quitting time is 3:30 and I miss traffic. With this extra work, I'm usually leaving between 5 and 6 which is right in the middle of rush hour (cavet -- this is Minneapolis rush hour and no where near what I've seen in Los Angeles, but it still adds 20 - 30 minutes onto my commute). Now the local Department of Transportation has opened up the current carpool lane that runs along half of my route home to single drivers as a toll road. The toll depends on traffic conditions and the time of day, so it would have cost me a $2 toll to use the carpool lane. On these long days, I think I might be worth it....

Off to go have a little martini to sip while watching the last "Everyone Loves Raymond." Too bad it's so dark out -- Don just let me know there was a rabbit in our front yard but I couldn't get a good photo through the window with the flash. Maybe next time...

Thursday, May 12, 2005


One would think that after attending the seminar last Tuesday, I would have rushed home to fill out the paperwork, write my letter and gotten my doctor to sign her acknoledgement. Alas, no.

I'm not sure why I'm dragging my feet on this so much. I read several posts on some WLS sites and people wrote that they filled out the paperwork that night and hand-delivered it or FedEx-ed it so they could get on the list. Even though I know just by sending in my completed pack doesn't mean I have agreed to have the surgery, it seems like one more step towards the point of no return, and I don't know if I'm ready to take it.

A bit of serendipity yesterday morning -- I was coming in late to work because I needed to stop by my doctor's office to have another blood test confirming my fasting glucose numbers (and to have her sign my letter). I had a few minutes before I was leaving and Don turned on the "Today" show. Katie Couric was interviewing 3 women about some of the psychological changes they underwent after having bypass surgery. You can read the impetus of the interview here.It was pretty interesting hearing how one marriage was on rocky ground and one woman got a divorce because of the surgery. It's a long article, but worth the read. On the show, they did a second segment with a psychologist who said that these challenges can happen no matter what method is used for the weight loss. Going through a major physical change can bring about a plethora of feelings.

I will be doing my letter today. It has to be about why I want the surgery, how my life is affected by my weight and how I think my life will improve after surgery. It will probably get into the mail tomorrow. The asked we allow 2 weeks for them to contact us, so I probably will hear something around Memorial Day. If their timeframe is accurate, I might be looking at a surgery date in late summer/early fall. I know this is going to sound weird, but when I look at it all laid out like that, I realize that if I go through with this on this timeline, I will still be on a mostly liquid diet come Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pureed turkey, anyone?

Glad so many of you enjoyed the photos. Since I've seen this on so many different blogs, and have always made request, I am taking requests from my readers -- what do you want to see photos of? Don't be shy, let me know, and I will post over the weekend.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Few Weekend Photos

Here's a few photos I took today:

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The three trees at the front of our house. The maple tree (the one to the left) has our bird feeder in it.

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I don't know what kind of tree this is, but it also comes in a vibrant pink that I would love to have.

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Here is a close-up of the flowers from the white tree.

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This is Jager's new mortal enemy. He comes around to snack on the fallen seeds from the feeder.

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Here is Baja playing bubbles. This is his "happy boy" look.

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Here is Jager looking at the dogs/kids/cats in the next yard. When she does this, her tail wags non-stop.

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Here is Don doing the crossword puzzle. I was supposed to be helping, but I was snapping photos instead.

Happy Mother's Day

I woke up expecting thunderstorms and it actually dawned clear and beautiful. There is a warm breeze, and the scent of newly blossomed flowers is in the air. It did rain a little last night, so you can also smell the wet grass, which isn't entirely unplesant. There is a flock of birds making a ruckus, the occassional rabbit, chipmunk or squirrel romping across the front lawn, and a sense of peace that comes with waking early, before the lawnmowers, kids and cars take over. What a perfect way to wake up.

Although I'm not a a mother per se, my husband celebrates my accomplishments as a puppy mom on this day. He and the dogs sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and we'll be going to brunch this morning. The rest of the day will be spent kicking around the house, doing a Home Depot run and hanging out on the deck (assuming the weather stays nice -- this is Minnesota you know).

Yesterday we took a drive down to Mankato, MN which is where the Vikings will hold their training camp. Don will be driving down and back each day, and we were curious about the distance. We did take the more scenic route, and it took about an hour each way. We found a nice local pub for lunch and then stopped at a Dairy Queen on the way back (yes, I was a Blizzard virgin). The drive was nice and through some beautiful farm land. It was amazing how green everything was. I wish I had brought my camera, but that would have just added more time onto the trip as I would have wanted to stop every few minutes for the perfect shot. It was nice just to have some alone time with Don and to get out of the familiar. The rest of the night was spent vegging out and downloading music. I've finally gotten serious about getting all my CDs uploaded. I have about 90 more before A3 - Dave Matthews is completely loaded, and I'm figuring that will bring my total number of songs up to about 3000. At least once I'm done I'll have a better idea what iPod I'll want to upgrade to.

I will also be filling out my paperwork for the WLS. I've reviewed it and have my medical history, a quiz (to see if I was paying attention during Tuesday's seminar), a letter for my doctor to sign and a letter I have to write about why I want surgery. I have some ideas rattling around in my head, but I won't know exactly what I'm going to say until I put pencil to paper (figuratively since I will be using the computer to actually write it). I guess the one thing I haven't really wanted to think about or deal with yet is the emotional adjustments I am going to have to make if I go through with this surgery. They talked about a sense of mourning as you come to realize there are food which you will never taste again. And you can't use food as a comfort blanket, weapon, barrier, safety net any longer. They also discussed how if you have an addictive personality (and so many overeaters so), you might find yourself turning to other vices such as alcohol, gambling, etc. I don't gamble (I don't like to lose money) so hopefully that won't be an issue.

I should go jump in the shower and make myself look springtime fresh. Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I plan on wearing white sandals with my outfit, and I know it's before Memorial Day!

Friday, May 06, 2005

As Seen All Over The Web

You know the drill: Pick 5 of the following professions and complete the sentence:

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a backup dancer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a midget stripper...
If I could be a proctologist...
If I could be a TV-Chat Show host...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a judge...
If I could be a Jedi...
If I could be a mob boss...
If I could be a backup singer...
If I could be a CEO...
If I could be a movie reviewer...

1) If I could be a chef, I would open a restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA nestled up in the mountains with a view of the Pacific Ocean. I would serve comfort foods using local produce, seafood, etc. trying to use organic ingredients. I would spend Saturday mornings at the big farmers' market, picking out the freshest produce and then hit the pier to grab the catch of the day. It would be a small, intimate restaurant and the only advertising would be by word of mouth. I would grow my own herbs behind the restaurant, raise chickens for their eggs and focus on local wines. We would also be known for our great martinis!

2) If I could be an athlete, I would want to play tight end in the NFL (yes, I know I'm a girl, but this is fantasy). I would not travel with a posse, wear my hat sideways and refuse to show up for camp because of contract disputes or dis my teammates in the media. I would sign autographs for free, do volunteer work for local animal shelters and use proper English when interviewed. I wouldn't need to be the best player on the team, but I would play every game like I was.

3) If I could be a bonnie pirate, I would sail the ocean blue with Jack Sparrow (AKA Johnny Depp), exploring deserted islands and drinking rum. (sorry, Don). Plus, I think I could carry off the pirate look, puffy shirt and all.

4) If I could be a backup singer, I would tour with Bruce Springsteen. Need I say more?

5) If I could be a judge, I would probably be considered an "activist judge" that the Republicans are currently gunning for. I would rule based on the law, not politics. I would, if I could, make sure the punishment fit the crime. For example, if you starved a dog and chained it in the back yard for 6 months, you would be sentenced to an outdoor cage with as little food as you gave the dog. Trust me, if you were a criminal, you would not want me on the bench.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Skinny

Here is an update on the seminar I attended last night regarding weight loss surgery. This is part of what I sent my parents. It's very detailed, so if you aren't interested in WLS, come back tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programming.

The seminar was lead by Teri Barker-Conner, a nurse in the bariatric unit at Park Nicollet. She actually has been through the surgery. She had it three years ago and has lost about 120 pounds. There were two others there who work for the clinic who have also been through the surgery, one losing 220 pounds.

Some of my initial unease was put to rest as she described morbid obesity as a disease which is often caused by hormonal, physiological, genetic and cultural components. For me in particular, I know I have hypothyroidism, low metabolism and glucose intolerance. Trying to manage my weight solely by "dieting" has only caused a yo-yo effect, pushing my already low metabolism lower. Although I lost the weight once, because I regained it, possibly because of the hypothyroidism and glucose intolerance, it is only going to become harder to lose again through traditional methods.

She also discussed how this isn't a cop-out. It's a difficult decision in which my entire lifestyle will change (more on this later). Surgery is not a cure; it is a tool for combating obesity. I will have to manage my food, exercise and vitamins for the rest of my life. According to her statistics (most of which I have seen on weight loss surgery sites), 95% of severely obese people are unsuccessful at losing and then maintaining significant weight loss because of physiological and biological problems. Eighty percent who have weight loss surgery (WLS) sustain their weight loss.

Luckily for me, I do not have a significant amount of physical problems, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, etc. I do have high blood pressure (borderline) which I treat with medication as more of a precaution because of the weight and some back/joint pain. Something like 95% of the patients who have WLS are removed from all medication shortly after surgery. Almost 99% stop suffering from chronic heartburn (GERD) and 85% have significant reduction in arthritis and joint pain.

The first criterion for being considered for surgery is a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40 (or over 35 with serious obesity related problems). Mine is 50, so I am within range. I also need to have realistic expectations, no drug or alcohol dependencies, commitment to long-term lifestyle changes and an understanding of risks and benefits.

Park Nicollet does two types of WLS -- Roen-en-Y (bypass) and gastric banding. Both are done laparoscopically rather than open, meaning there are 3 to 4 small (2 cm) incisions versus 1 large (12 cm) incision. Obviously, not being cut open means a faster recovery time, fewer complications, less chance of infection, etc. If complications do arise during surgery, they are prepared to open the abdominal cavity, which happened once out of 420 surgeries last year at PN. Having the lap surgery also means about a 1 - 2 day stay in the hospital and a recovery period of 2 - 3 weeks rather than up to a week in the hospital and 6 - 8 weeks of recovery time.

With the bypass surgery, the doctors separate a small piece of the stomach (about the size of a shot glass). They then connect a section of the small intestine to the pouch to allow food to bypass the lower stomach, the duodenum and the jejunum. In the normal digestive process, it is in the duodenum and the jejunum where most of the calories and nutrients are absorbed into the body. By having the food go directly from the small pouch into the ileum (the lower portion of the small intestine), your body no longer has the chance to absorb as many calories.

The advantages of the bypass surgery are that there is reduced food intake, absorb fewer calories, and rapid initial weight loss. As far as food intake, you start on a clear liquid diet for the first few days, move to a creamy liquid diet and eventually up to1/4 cup of solid food three times a day for the first 3 months, increasing in 1/4 cup increments to the eventual maximum of 1 - 1 1/2 cups in about 12 months. The most of the weight will come off in the first 12 - 18 months, with most people averaging about 100 pounds in the first 6 months.

Some of the disadvantages are there are cuts to the stomach and bowel, which could leak or become infected, nutritional deficiencies and eventual regaining of about 10% of excess weight loss due to stretching of the pouch (meaning if I lost 150 pounds, I could gain about 15 of those back). The mortality rate in the United States is at about .5% (1 in 200). At PN, it is 1 in 1200. That death was due to the staples rupturing causing massive leakage into the abdominal cavity. I would be on vitamins for the rest of my life (multi, calcium, B12 and iron).

Gastric Banding is a band that goes around the top part of the stomach, creating a pouch. Once the band is placed, it is left for about 6 weeks before they inject saline into a shunt to tighten the band. Several follow up visits could be required as they try to find the right size pouch for effective weight loss which can vary from person to person. Having the banding done would mean I would need to make better decisions and have more discipline because unlike the bypass, you can still eat sugar and fat.

The weight loss is considerably slower, with most reaching their goal weight in 3 years and it requires post-operative visits for band adjustments. Of course, there is no cutting of the stomach or bowel, it's adjustable and reversible, lower mortality rate (1 in 12,500 in the US. PN has had no deaths).

Some of the post-surgical complications are common – respiratory problems such as pneumonia (to prevent that, they have you doing breathing exercises within about 3 hours of surgery, coughing every hour to clear fluids, etc.), blood clots (they have you walking about 3 hours after surgery, and walking several times a day while you're in the hospital), spleen injury, obstruction of the stomach outlet due to swelling, internal bleeding, wound infections, staple line leakage, hernia and bowel obstruction.

Some of the long-term complications are gallstones (in fact, if there is a history of gallstones or stones present prior to surgery they will often remove the gallbladder while performing the surgery), vomiting, dumping syndrome, hair loss (will stop once weight loss is stabilized), excess skin (can be corrected with plastic surgery).

Some of the lifestyle changes will be fairly drastic. There is no drinking liquids 30 minutes prior or after eating and none while eating (this will push the food through the stomach too quickly, never giving you a chance to feel full thus increasing caloric intake). The amount of food will only be about 1 cup of solid food three times a day. Because the hole is so small between the stomach and the intestine, you have to take tiny bite and chew to "applesauce" consistency. Some foods people have problems with after surgery are beef, white chicken or turkey meat (too dry), breads, pasta, rice. There could be food intolerances, especially lactose. They suggest avoiding alcohol, at least for the first year. With the bypass surgery, sugar and food high in fat must be avoided at all cost, otherwise you "dump."

Dumping syndrome is when the small intestine detects sugar. Usually, most sugar is absorbed in the duodenum. Even little amounts entering into the lower part of the small intestine causes the body to secrete insulin to combat what it thinks is excess sugar, causing symptoms similar to low blood sugar (dizziness, sweats, fainting, etc.). Vomiting is also common, if you eat more than the pouch will allow or if something gets stuck in the opening between the stomach and the small intestine and you have to dislodge it.

You must start physical activity immediately after surgery, moving from 4 five minute walks per day to one 30 minute walk per day. Eventually you can do 1 thirty minute walk five times per week. Also, you need to mix in strength training (builds muscle, burns more fat, lean muscle mass, skin will bounce back) and stretching.

My next steps are to fill out some paperwork I got at the seminar, including a health assessment and a letter to the insurance company (mine covers 90% of the cost). Then come the appointments:

60 minute with a bariatric surgery nurse who reviews medical history and individual needs

Psychological testing

60 minutes each with a dietician, psychologist, and physical therapist

30 minutes with a medical doctor who becomes the liaison with my primary care doctor

60 minutes more with the psychologist to review testing

On-going psych appointments if deemed needed

30 minutes with the surgeon once approved by insurance. Surgery is scheduled during this meeting

60 minutes more with the dietician with a focus on post-operative care

After surgery, I will have appointments at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months and then annually for life.

It usually takes about 90 days between last night's seminar and an actual surgery date.

That's it in a (very large) nutshell. I'm sure there will be a lot of questions going forward, but I do plan on taking some time this weekend to fill out the paper work and sending it in. I probably won't know which surgery I will opt for until I speak to the nurses and my own doctor.

So, readers, there you have it. I haven't spoken to my parents yet, so it will be interesting to see what questions or comments they might have. Overall, it was a very good experience and I was happy to see the format and the amount of care (pre- and post-op) they offer. Maybe it's not as scary as I might think.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Today is the Day

I can't decided if I'm looking forward to this evening's seminar or dreading it. I guess it's because I still am reluctant to completely embrace the idea of weight loss surgery. I was dinking around some sights last night, looking at before/after photos, and the idea of being down (on average) 100 pounds the first six months is appealing.

The funny thing is that I seem to have lost my appetite. I have had to remind myself to eat, and nothing really sounds good. I've been leaving food (including french fries!!) on my plate, not craving any sweets, etc. Yesterday I purchased lunch from our cafe -- sandwich, soup, pop and chips (it's their combo). I ate about 1/2 the sandwich fillings and maybe 1/4 of the bread. I did eat all the soup, but it was a small cup of chicken veggie. I mindlessly snacked on the chips until I realized what I was doing and tossed the mostly uneaten bag away. I didn't even finish the Diet Coke. Weird.

I am forcing myself to eat breakfast, just because I have a busy day and don't want to crash and burn this afternoon. One cup of cut up honeydew, yogurt and a protein bar. I did bring strawberries, an apple and leftover beef tips with veggies for lunch. I'll pick up a small green salad downstairs. HA -- maybe my body is realizing what I'm planning and is begging for mercy -- "Hey, I know I've been giving you a hard time about losing weight. How about I start only craving the nutrition I need and wanting to exercise and you agree not to cut me open and rearrange my insides?" If only.

I'm not sure if I will be up for posting tonight after the seminar, but I will be updating tomorrow. I just have to remember to go in with an open mind and realize sometimes it's not weakness to turn for help when I can't do it on my own.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

What Happened to Spring?

Just two weeks ago I was lying on the deck, getting a sunburn, and now we're having snow flurries. Nothing like spring in the mid-west, I guess. We never went from 80 degrees to 30 in less than 14 days.

I've spent most of the weekend cleaning and doing laundry -- yawn. I did have a mini-shopping spree at both Target and CostCo, finding a new bookshelf for the living room and 4 new patio chairs (exactly what I was looking for at less than $30 per chair -- yeah!). It's amazing how quickly my bonus has been spent -- I restocked the wine fridge, bought the chairs and bookshelf, got some new clothes (3 pairs of sandels, 2 pairs of jeans, a pair of pants, a jumper, 2 skirts, 2 camis, 3 shirts, 2 sweatshirts and 2 sweaters -- guess I'm set for awhile), the new Springsteen CD. I do have money left over, and I can't decide between a new electric stove (cheap one since I eventually want to conver to gas, but I don't want to invest in one until we look at upgrading the kitchen), a new fridge (ours is currently top freezer/bottom fridge and I want a side-by-side or one with the freezer on the bottom) or a new (60 gig) iPod. Of course, if I go through with the surgery and start eating only a few items and very little of them, the iPod may be the way to go -- it will give me something to do during recovery.

Right now, the new clothes are in the laundry, and I know I will have to spend some time ironing later so I wanted to get that out of the way. I also got some flowers to remind me, that no matter what the temps are outside, it is really spring. I will be glad when I can officially put away the coats. It is funny to see the different fashions -- everything from shorts and jackets to full on winter gear -- hat, gloves, scarf.

Of course the spring brings out a variety of birds, most who seem to gather in our front yard at our bird feeders. I've also seen ducks, rabbits and squirrels. Jager has seen them as well, and barks her little head off at them. I would hate to see her get out and go after one. Probably not a pretty sight, and I'm sure Baja would be right on her heels. They are in one of their mellow moods right now, so I should take advantage and get some more cleaning done.

The other option is to mirror the dogs mood and curl up with a good book and drift off into a nap.