Monday, December 21, 2009

Do not ignore the pain...

Well, it's easy for me to say that now!  For three weeks I had been experiencing some pretty significant pain.  I didn't blog about it because I thought "TMI" and that nobody would want to hear about it.  But then I realized that I really SHOULD blog about it so that everyone realizes that this process isn't always sunshine and rainbows, and that it definitely ISN'T the "easy way out" like so many seem to think.

At first I thought the pain was due to constipation which has been an issue from the beginning.  When you're eating so little, and most of that is dense protein, you're going to have issues.  Miralax is my new best friend, and I have to use it at least three times a week just to stay regular.  When the pain I've been experiencing didn't go away even after good "results", I knew it was something else.

It is common for someone with rapid weight loss to experience problems with their gall bladder.  I knew this, but guess I was in denial.  I didn't want to have to admit I needed another surgery and would have to miss more work.  So I put off going to the doctor.  I did call my surgeon last week to get my 3 month follow-up moved up so he could see me.  I never made it to the appointment.

On Thursday (Dec 17th) I went to school as usual even though I was in considerable pain.  It was so bad that I didn't eat anything even knowing that I HAVE to eat.  I just had a protein shake.  I managed to make it through 2 classes but couldn't fool my sister (she's the teacher for period 3) who insisted I go to the ER.  I'm so glad we work together.  If she hadn't made me, I'd probably still be suffering through this.  So she had me call mom and I drove as far as TI to meet dad.  He took me on up to Wilson.  Paul met us there.

Well, seems everyone in the triple cities needed the ER that day, so we sat there from 10:30 to 3:00 before I even saw a nurse.  Then another 2 hours and finally saw a doctor.  I asked them to consult Dr. Tvetenstrand, and then things finally started moving along.  Dr. T admitted me and ordered a hidascan (I think that's how you spell it... it's a nuclear imaging test anyway).  He said I had the classic symptoms of a bad gall bladder and would most likely remove it Friday afternoon.

So off I go to spend the night in the hospital.  THANK GOD for pain medication!  You never realize just how much you hurt until the pain is no longer there!

The next morning around 10 am they take me down for the scan.  It took 1 1/2 hours.  I have to admit I was really nervous that they wouldn't find anything wrong since the pain meds were working.  I thought for sure the scan would come back negative.  I had nothing to worry about though, because Dr. T said when he came in later that my scan was "very abnormal" and that he was taking me to the OR.  So at 4pm on Friday I had my gall bladder removed.  After I was back in my room Dr. T came in to discuss the procedure and said I didn't have any stones, but it was full of very tiny crystals.  He said he didn't know how I managed to function as long as I did with the obvious pain I must have been in.  Told y'all I have a high pain tolerance and when I say it hurts, it HURTS!

Funny how having surgery for something like that didn't make me nearly as nervous as the bypass itself.  The only thing I felt was relief that my pain would soon be over.

The surgery went well, and I spent an additional night in the hospital.  Came home at 4 pm on Saturday.  I do have to say that I am pretty sore from the procedure.  Maybe it's because I don't have as much fat padding my insides and the instruments bruised me more.  Not sure but it HURTS.  I can't lay flat in bed yet, something I was really proud of myself for after the bypass.  But then again, this is the second major surgery in 3 months and my body has changed a lot over that time.

Each day gets a little better as far as pain goes, so I'm sure by the time school starts again after Christmas break I'll be more than ready to go back.  It was actually pretty good timing.  I'll only miss 5 days of school, and got it taken care of before the huge increase in out of pocket insurance expenses with Paul's "new" insurance plan.  Gotta love Corporate and their "it will be better in the long run" approach... better for them maybe, but I can't even imagine what our bills are going to be like if anything major happens next year....

 I just went back and looked at my last few entries and realized that I didn't post recent pics!  These are from 12/12/09 at my hubby's Christmas party.  I'm down 102lbs since my high weight (I've gained back 4 of that post op, but mostly fluid and swelling... should be gone by next week)..

Also, Devan and I were in a car accident on 12/4/09.  We're both ok, obviously, but my "Flower Power" van is no more.  I do want to share a pic with you though that shows just how durable the Decor Elements are!  She (the person who hit me) wiped out the entire driver side of my van, but didn't rip the decor element!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dormant sets fixin' to retire!

Dormant Stamp Sets Discontinued on January 4, 2010

December 2, 2009 As promised, many of the stamp sets currently on our dormant list have been available for a year and now it is time to say goodbye. The following stamp sets will be discontinued on January 4, 2010.
 Item Number
 Stamp Set
 Back Woods  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 102
 Beautiful Baby 2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 208
 Birthday Wish  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 208
 Branch Out  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 100
 Celebrations  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 208
 Central Park  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 106
 Classic Sketches  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 119
 Classy & Fabulous  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 51
 Flowers in Silhouette  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 208
 Font of You  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 46
 For the Bride  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 61
 Forever  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 208
 Friend by Definition  2008 Fall/Winter Catalog pg. 135
 Fun Flowers   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 208
 Garden Greetings  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 55
 Glad Friends   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 208
 Grand Soiree   2008 Fall/Winter Catalog pg. 126
 Hit the Road  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 103
 Lexicon of Leaves   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 101
 Man's Best Friend  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 72
 Ocean Commotion  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 97
 Playful Petals  2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 99
 Polka Dot   2008 Fall/Winter Catalog pg. 135
 Putt Putt    2008 Fall/Winter Catalog pg. 81
 Quilt Quips   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 53
  Really Retro   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 132
 Sip by Sip   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 51
 Sweet Stems   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 99
 That's Funny   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 63
 Wonderful Watercolors   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 85
  Para la novia
 Acuarelas Maravillosas   2009 Spring/Summer Catalog pg 85
If any of these stamp sets are on your wish list, make sure to purchase them before they are gone for good!  Don't forget during the month of December pay no tax or shipping on any order placed through me!

Made it through Thanksgiving without a hitch....

Last week I wasn't so sure I was going to make it through.  Monday and Tuesday were terrible eating days.  NOTHING was setting right.  My pouch was definitely grouchy!  Even got nauseous and threw up after eating eggs, something I've been able to tolerate since starting soft foods.

I was really nervous about how Thanksgiving dinner was going to go.  I spent a little time crying in the bathroom thinking I wasn't going to be able to handle anything.  I was pretty snappy with my family before leaving.  This is the one thing that I do hate about the surgery.  It's not their fault I self medicated with food for 40 years.  They've been wonderful though and understand what I'm going through.  Hopefully in the end it will all be worth it.  All I can do now is apologize when I get in the hormonal dump slump and they'll continue to stand by me.

So anyway, we leave for mom and dad's.  Still very nervous but putting on a brave face.  I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to try everything and not have any pain or reactions.  I was so happy!  I had 1.5 oz turkey and a teaspoon of everything else (green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, squash).  The only thing I didn't have was the corn and dinner roll.  For dessert I brought some fresh pineapple instead of the pies everyone else had... and you know what? They were EYEBALLING my delicious fresh fruit LOL!

Friday my mom, sister and I got up at 2a.m. to brave the Black Friday crowds.  We were on the road at 3:30! It was so much fun!  I talked them out of hitting McDonald's drive through for breakfast, saying I was still full from my cottage cheese and apple sauce at 2:30 and needed to wait.  We headed right for the city.

Dropped mom off at AC Moore, and my sister and I headed for Target.  Couldn't believe the line already!  I was very impressed once we got in the store, however, and saw how organized Target was.  I found everything I wanted within 15 minutes, and stood in line for only 2.  Headed over to the Starbucks to grab a table and wait for my sister.  She ended up paying for my nephew's "gotta have" and then hitting the regular toy aisle, so I headed back over to pick up mom across the street at AC Moore.  My sister was already through checking out by the time we fought the traffic.  Kudos to Target for their speed, efficiency, and excellent customer service!

After Target we went to IHOP for breakfast.  Their lighter side menu is awesome.  My mom and I split a meal, and both had plenty!  She's been doing weight watchers since August....

After breakfast we headed to Best Buy.  Gotta say, Target set the standard for the day and Best Buy fell WAY short of it.  VERY disorganized (they tried, points for that) but they had regular shopping aisles blocked off for checkout control.  I couldn't even GET to an item I wanted because of the line.  Then they overcharged me at check out so I had to go to customer service for a refund...  not too impressed with them at this point...

Next was Walmart.  I love going to WalMart after the initial rush/doorbusters.  The store was busy, but no more than a normal weekend.  We spent an hour there, and found some great buys.

Next was my favorite stop of the day... Old Navy!  I never really shopped there before because I never fit in their clothes... Well, NOW I CAN!!!  I bought 4 tees, 2 camis, and a tee-shirt hoodie!  OMG I never thought the day would come when I would be able to shop there!!

After ON, it was time for lunch.  Applebees was the choice because of their WW menu for my mom.  I ended up getting the Steak Quesadilla tower and just eating the inside.  Very good and more than enough food.  Even took some home!

Next it was on to Kohl's.  I have a few stamping friends who work there.  I ran into three of them, two of them didn't recognize me!  What a great feeling!

Ended the day at Toy's R Us.  By this time I was feeling the effects of the fatigue, so stayed in the car and watched Alvin and the Chipmunks LOL!  Just enough of a rest for the last stop of the day, Christmas Tree Shoppes.  LOVE THAT STORE!  I stocked up on the acrylic frames for next year's calendar camp.  My apologies to my stampers that I didn't get one organized for this year, but the combined camp with Cathy really took a lot of planning that I normally spend on the calendars.  Next year for sure!!

This weekend I even had the energy and ambition to rearrange furniture and deep clean.  Haven't set the tree up yet, but that's the next on the list.  For the past 3 years the tree has stayed in the box.  My excuse was it was too big for the house.  Reality is I was too big to care, too big to put out the effort.  Not this year.  My kids deserve a tree and not excuses....