Monday, June 26

I'm posting this after date for obvious reasons. It was my surgery date. I'm going to try to recall what I remember from that date for others who may want to know what to expect. 

My report time was 5:30am. We left the house at 3:45am. It was a somber trip, and we both cried a little on the way. When we pulled into the hospital drive, I panicked. I've never been as scared as I think I was about this surgery. Being my first surgery, and the fact that I was turned away for IVF based on how dangerous anesthesia would be for me, I think I felt like I was taking the ultimate gamble with my life, and I was worried that I would not win. My fear was real and reached to the core of who I was. I knew I might not wake up from this. I knew  that I might be leaving a mess for others to clean up. So fear. Big fear. 

We went and checked in at the desk. I'd already come in and done my paperwork and made my deposit payment, so I was told to go straight to the surgery waiting room. I got my bracelet that would know my name and birthday if I didn't and had a barcode that would give anyone who scanned it my info. 

We waited for a very short time and watched my patient number on a tv screen that would tell my family what part of the process I was in. My parents were on their way but not there yet. My sister was resting after being up with me all night because I was afraid to sleep. (Honestly, I kept thinking that if I died, I didn't want to spend my last hours sleeping. I wanted it to count, even if it was just spending time with her.) 

They called my name and I went back to the prep area. They weighed me, and I gave a urine sample. I took off all my clothes and put on their gown and slipper socks. I walked back to the stretcher and laid down while they hooked up an IV in my right arm. My husband was visibly shaken. He was pacing and sweating and clearly as scared as I was. He was making me nervous, and I felt like I clung to whoever came in, even though they were strangers. They were calm. I needed calm. I couldn't fault him for being scared. He heard exactly what I heard in that fertility clinic. "High risk", "too dangerous", etc, regarding the anesthesia. 

Finally, my parents got there, and there was my mama. Smiling and calm. The hand that held mine in childhood illness and fear. The mother that taught me that "God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) And taught me to say that scripture over and over to myself when I was afraid, so I would know where fear comes from. Hers was the hand I wanted to hold. The one that I associated with comfort and all the things a mother's hands are. Doorway Man came back and forth nervously, but mama prayed and held my hand the way she did when I was a child, screaming in terror from a bad dream. 

When it was time to go to the OR, and I'd met the nurses and anesthesiologists and my surgeon and assistant surgeon, and they had everything ready to go, they wheeled me back. I don't believe I was there but a few minutes before the next thing I knew, I was waking up.

I couldn't breathe. I was gasping for air. I couldn't make my lungs work. People were talking to me, shuffling around me. I believe they had just pulled out my breathing tube. I was alive. It was over, someone said. It went well. It was all over. My lungs still hurt so bad, and…. Ouch. My belly hurt. I had surgery. And it was over. 

Then things calmed down. I was talking to a blonde headed nurse. I told her I hurt, and she moved quickly to give me meds. She asked if I was nauseated. Yes. Again, fast. She was on it. Seemed like she was always putting something in my IV. People would come near me, she would speak, and they would move. She's in charge, and I'm her only job. I don't know who she was, but she was called to do this. When she left even for a moment, she had someone else ready to watch me, as if I was her mother or daughter or sister. She spoke with authority  and I had the feeling that people do what she says, possibly even fear her. When she got back, her eyes never left me. Her focus was absolutely true. I knew I was safe with her, and she would do whatever was necessary to help me. She was what every nurse should be. 

It's stuffy in recovery. I still am struggling to breathe. Then things get easier.

Things became consistent and peaceful, and my husband came back. I could see the stress and worry on his face. He smiled, and I knew that he was relieved. I didn't look like I was dying, even if I looked like I'd had a rough day. 

Then my mother came. And she had the look that all mamas have when they have been greatly worried and the storm is over. She held my hand for a little while, and this time was different. This time it was a prayer of thankfulness. Not just that the storm was over today, but that the fear that she's had for a long time of outliving me because of obesity may soon be gone as well. I saw it in that moment. I saw thankfulness for the possibility that I might be saved from early death. She told me my dad was in the waiting room, and that she wasn't gonna send him back. His nerves are shot, and she wasn't sure he could handle seeing me hurt. 

My dad. So tenderhearted. So aware of what he sees as weakness, but those that know him see as strength. That's okay. I know he loves me. I love him, too.

A little bit later, the blond headed nurse, is laughing with another. She's not quite so serious now. She's still watching, and still someone others respect, but she's morphed back into Clark Kent, a normal person. Laid back. Laughing. Smiling. 

She calls for transport to radiology. They come get me. The room is cold, not stuffy and heavy air like the recovery room. It's loud. The people are moving me as if I'm an office chair. I tell them I'm in pain and just had surgery, like they didn't know. Everyone is moving fast, and I'm overwhelmed. Then there's one guy that talks to me. He knows I'm a person, so he's talking to me. The others leave. He tells me to drink slowly. It tastes bitter. It feels weird. I taste vomit, I think. No, that's the aftertaste. My tongue is dry. My throat is dry. My lips are dry. My arms are immobile from the IVs. I have two now. 

He tells me my bed is going to blow up around me. A younger blond says it's to transfer me from the bed to the Xray. It blows up. They count and transfer me. My feet are so cold. The transfer didn't hurt. Good. 

The guy comes up to me and pats my arm, the one that knew I was a person who was hurting and scared. He told me he was going to move the table and it was going to feel like I was standing up. I tell him I can't stand up. He says I won't fall. I believe him. He says it might hurt, but it will be fast. I also believe that. 

I go up. I'm dizzy. He pats my arm and tells me I won't fall. I believe him again. It hurts. He walks away and comes back. He's smiling. I am swallowing normally. The fluid went down where it was supposed to go. He pats my arm, and lays me back down. The bed blows up. They transfer me back. Several people come in. I think it was the ones from before. I hurt. I'm nauseated. My mouth is dry. My throat is dry. My lips hurt. 

This time the trip is not so rough. But I am hurting from standing up. 

They take me to my room. I see my husband and my sister. They both look relieved. 

I'm so thirsty, I have to tell myself my IV won't let me die of thirst. The nurses give me a drink and tell me I can't drink but the tiniest speck of liquid. Slower. Slower. Slower than that. 

They put more morphine in my arm. More nausea meds. I'm drowsy. I'm glad it's over. 

Sleep comes again. 

June 18, 2017

Yesterday, I woke up with swelling and redness in my throat and the feeling that I was swallowing sandpaper. My first thought was that I was coming down with strep and how this could affect my surgery in just over a week. I called and talked with my surgeon’s answering service, and they advised me to go to a walk in clinic and call the office on Monday with an update. 

So I called around to different walk in clinics to see which ones administer antibiotic shots, because my friend who is a nurse practitioner said that would be the fastest acting option for getting well before my surgery. 

I drove 30 minutes to the clinic, and the strep test was negative. They think I’m just having a bad allergy attack. So hopefully, we won’t have to reschedule my surgery. 

I’m so ready to get past this surgery, so that I can get on with my life. 

June 13, 2017

Superstitions. 

It’s June 13th and we’re 13 days from surgery. I try not to be superstitious, but I am. Until just now, I was planning to call to see if my surgery has been approved by insurance and schedule to get my pre surgery bloodwork done. You know, the bloodwork I might do, because vampires. 

I’m finding that my life seems to very much revolve around this upcoming date on the calendar. It’s like I’m preparing for the apocalypse. I’m stockpiling the things that I need that I want to make sure are exactly what I want for the time after. I’m preparing my shelter for unknowns, deep cleaning, organizing, tackling abandoned projects. I’m not sure how hard this recovery is going to be, but as the planner I am, I am planning for… Well, an apocalypse. 

Zeke is finally really grasping potty training. That is a huge deal. We’ve had this onery critter since November, and he is so stubborn. He’s very smart, maybe too smart. But he seems to like the doorbell thing. He seems much less frustrated trying to communicate that he needs to go. He took to it right away. 

The surgery is kind of a solemn thing in our house. It’s very scary for us. I’ve never had surgery before except for my wisdom teeth and the EGD I had last month in prep for the big surgery. I’m pretty terrified, to be honest. 

I have lots of fears, and tend to be a very fearful person. Preparing for the apocalypse is not calming my fears as it normally would. Anxiety rises up like shivers throughout my body, deep and cold, and sticks like a lump in my throat that makes my eyes water and well up with emotion. Yesterday was the first day that it happened all day without a break. 

I’m going to push through. This is too important for many reasons. I feel the pressure of needing this to be successful. 

Even though my fertility issues are more easily bypassed than my husband’s through IVF, my health is the reason we can’t. Even without considering a future with children, I’m willing to admit that what lies ahead for me on this obesity road is not how I want to live. Living in pain and low energy is no way to live, I’ve decided. I need this second chance, babies or not. 

So is 13 lucky or not lucky? 

May 9, 2017

Puppy blog:
As you may know, I’m not a fan of rain. But today I decided to put on my big boy pull-ups and do my business in the rain. I’ve never done that before, but hey, maybe it’s time to grow up a bit. I mean, it’s only water, right?
It was only raining a little when I went out the first time, but I discovered that I got a little less water on me under the tree in the front yard. Going under the tree is not my usual preference, but it worked today. 
I always make Mommie take me out multiple times in the morning. I’m not really a “one stop shop” kinda guy. So I just made water the first time. Mommie was happy because I chose my spot fast. 
I got pretty wet, and I’m not a fan of thunder. One big boom, and I was high tailing it to the porch. Out. Of. There. 
But, in a little bit, I had a decision to make. I had more business to do. So, I went to one of my inside spots. Hey, I know it’s not the right thing to do, but it’s wet out there. Well, Mommie saw me go over there and asked me if I needed to go outside. Okay, let’s do it. I’m game if she is. I mean, she can’t get under the tree as far as I can, so she gets wetter than me. 
But it was really coming down! This was not gonna be pleasant. I was gonna get alot wetter this time. Not my fave. 
But I went out there, and I did my business. It seemed to take alot longer than usual, but that was probably just because I was in a hurry. 
Then it was done. And Mommie was so happy. I like making her happy. I also got extra treats. 
We tried to wake daddy up with the news, and he was not too interested. So the after party was just me and Mommie. 
I really hate rain, though. It doesn’t matter if I’m inside or outside, but I definitely prefer inside. The noise scares me. I’m just being honest. But when you add getting wet into the mix, it’s just not worth it. I don’t understand it all, but I guess rain is just part of life.

May 8, 2017

The situation with the landlord turned out almost best possible scenario. They found the check, so no stop payments or anything. It’s almost best case scenario, because they are still saying our payment was late and charging us a fee. We know when we dropped it off. I’m not going to fight it. It’s not fair, but it could have been worse. So I’m gonna pay a $35 late fee and never use the drop box again. They will get to see my shining face and give me a receipt from now on. Lesson learned.

I’ve been thinking about how the enemy- the devil, Satan, Beelzebub, whatever you want to call him– is against the plans that God has made for us. He likes to frustrate us and confuse us to the point that we don’t know if we really heard God in the first place. 

I was preparing for worst case scenario. The check (money order, actually) was lost/stolen and we’d have to wait for the issuer to investigate and reimburse our funds, end up with a legal issue and mark against us for a filed eviction while I’m waiting the last days before a major surgery. I was worrying and trying to see if I could get a hardship withdrawal on my retirement. (I can.)  I was trying to figure out just how screwed we really were. I spent the night tormented about how we would get through this bump in the road. 

Obviously, my surgery would have to be postponed or cancelled. I don’t want to be trying to recover from surgery homeless. What will happen to Zeke? What if we couldn’t find a place on short notice that would take our baby? All the questions. It was torture. 

I’m a planner (Read: WORRIER) so I’m trying to figure it all out. All the what ifs and what abouts. 

None of it was needed. God knew it was fine. God knew that he was taking care of it. This was literally taken care of before I knew to be worried about it. The check turned up the day before the notice was delivered. (I’m gonna leave that alone. Makes steam come out my scalp.) 

I believe that God is speaking to me through this. I do believe everything happens for a reason. This, the reason is that God wanted to let me knew that I don’t see all, but he does. He wants me to let him have my fear and my control. 

Everything about this situation was out of my control. No one I could call. Nothing I could do. Locked doors at every turn. 

The whole time, the issue was already solved before I even knew about it. 

Figures. 

I believe the same is true for the infertility issue. I believe the weight loss surgery is part of the plan. I do not think that was my idea. And as I ride out the end of this wait to surgery, God is reminding me that he’s got this. He’s taking care of it. 

So today, I’m gonna work on giving it to him. The money part. The fear that something might go wrong. The fear that I won’t adjust to my new diet restrictions. The fear that it won’t work or that I’ll fail, even with surgery. The fear that I’ll do all this, and not become a mother. 

I know the enemy plays dirty. I know he knows my past failures and my insecurities.  

I know good things must be on their way. I must be doing the right thing if he is doing stupid things to upset me and scare me. 

I think it’s time to go to war and stop listening to stupid stuff and acting like this whole plan could fall apart at any moment. If it’s truly God’s plan, he’s got me. If it’s mine, I want it to fall apart. 

Not my will, but God’s alone. 

May 7, 2017

Today, I give up. Tomorrow, I will start again, but today I give up. 

Infertility has taught me that. There are times that this battle is so heavy, you just have to put it down for a day, a month, a year. Then when the time is right, and your strength has returned, and you find your mojo, you can fight again. 

Today has been a terrible day. My doctor’s appointment went well, but this time of my life has been so stressful. And today, we received an eviction notice from our landlord. 

We dropped our money order for rent off on the day it was due, and it has not been cashed, so we don’t know what happened. I’ve never received such a horrible letter before, and I totally panicked. The office is closed, so we’re going over there tomorrow to show them the receipt for the money order and see if they will work with us. 

I’m just sick with worry. I’m pretty sure everything is going to work out, but I am so stressed about money with this surgery. We are stretched to the max right now. I’m $200 from having what I need for my surgery if nothing else happens, because we had to put two new tires on one of our cars last week. Now this. No telling how much this will cost us in fees to add to our financial stress. 

I know I need to chill out. 

So I quit. I’m done. Finito. 

Tomorrow, I’ll stand back up to fight again. I’ll position my feet in an offensive stance, and I’ll march. 

But tonight, I give up. I retreat. And I’m going to ask God to take the battle from me. This is really his plan, not mine. He is the author and finisher of my story. 

I stand back and release my white knuckles of control. I’m screwing everything up anyway with my negativity and panic. 

What he has started, he will finish. 

Not my will, but God’s be done. On earth as it is in heaven. 

June 7, 2017

* disclaimer- this post contains bodily function information and questionable decision making. 

I have my preop appointment with my surgeon in about an hour. Yesterday, when I was on the phone figuring out my surgery date, they wanted to go ahead and schedule my final appointment prior to surgery. (We did solidify that my surgery will be on June 26, which I’m happy about.) When she suggested I come in tomorrow, my thoughts were on getting off work that soon and not on the pizza and other sins I had committed against my diet in the past week. I was in the middle of lunch with a carrot in my mouth when I hung up the phone, and it occurred to me that this could be bad. 
I spit out the carrot. I immediately drank two bottles of water, and began to research the fastest way to lose a few pounds. 

So, for dinner last night, I drank some milk of magnesia and a bunch of water. After a few hours, I had lost 2 pounds since I took the medicine, so I felt that I was good to eat some chicken noodle soup from a can. 

Today, I’ve lost 4 pounds. Gross, for real. 

I had this thought yesterday that I was worried that they might cancel my surgery over a few pounds, and I knew I couldn’t let that happen. I’ve come too far. 

I decided this was worth posting, even though it is TMI, but I figure between the infertility and the bariatric surgery, we’ll eventually cross some bodily function lines.  I’ll try to keep it to a minimum, though.

I certainly don’t recommend weight loss through laxative use, but it’ll do in a pinch, I guess. I’ve never done it in my life. I’m sure there will be other examples along the way where I don’t do right, and I’ll tell on myself more than likely.

The good, the bad, and the ugly. 

June 3, 2017

I’ve developed some food aversions the last few weeks to many of the foods that I’ve been eating the past few months. Food burn out is not unfamiliar to me. It’s more than being tired of eating the same old, same old. It’s going from “This is awesome!” To “This again?” To “I cannot eat this without gagging.” Recently, I’ve been skipping the middle step. One day, I’ll love it, then the next day… Gag. It’s very inconvenient on a limited diet with a limited budget. 

I’m so close to surgery, and I know that after surgery will be a whole new game. It will be a full liquid diet for about two weeks then soft foods for four weeks. It’s going to be really different from anything I’ve done before. Then I will add in foods to see what my body will tolerate. 

It’s weird how when your on a strict diet how much of your thoughts and planning and everything go into food. I feel like it’s so consuming, which is the opposite of what you need when trying to break an addiction. But you can’t get away from it. I spend so much more on food, and make more trips to the grocery store, and feel like I’m either eating or thinking about eating all the time. I don’t feel like I do that unless I’m on a diet. Makes me feel crazy.

So the things I’ve become averse to the past few weeks seem like the things that I can prepare ahead and grab when needed. The things I don’t have to think about. The easy things. 

Boiled eggs. 

Premade guacamole minis.

Lunchmeat. 

Almonds. (I’m allergic to all but peanuts and almonds as far as nuts, so that stinks.)

I don’t really seem to get tired of vegetables at this point, but that would be tragic. 

Time to get on Pinterest, or actually make some of the 503,646 recipes I’ve already pinned but never attempted. 

June 1, 2017

I was talking with a good friend via text the other night, and I equated awaiting this surgery with being engaged and planning a wedding. I realize that no matter how prepared and planned I am for this life changing event, there’s no way I can really wrap my mind around the full extent of how my life is about to change. I also mentioned it to my counselor yesterday, and she thought that was a pretty good way to look at it. I also believe the first year of this process will be about as difficult as the first year of marriage. God, help us all. 

I did not get that call I was waiting for from the doctor’s office yesterday, so right now, I don’t know when my surgery is happening. I’ve decided to be okay with whatever they decide. If I have to wait 2 weeks, then I have to. If I can change hospitals, then I change hospitals. I’m just going to put the outcome in God’s hands to work out. That’s how I’m feeling right now today, anyway. 

None of this infertility thing has gone according to my plans. It’s very clear that God is the only one that knows how this whole thing is going to work out. 

I’m scared. 

I’m pissed. 

I’m so tired of waiting. 

Did I mention I’m scared? I’m so fearful in general in life. Like a real nervous Nellie. I was hanging out with friends the other night at Starbucks when we saw a bird flying around inside. I told my friends that if it came near me, they were to grab a chair an knock me out. I can’t handle birds. 

My response to fear is control and planning. My fear makes me an excellent planner. I think of so many things that “could happen” that I’m generally over prepared. I have this idea that if I try to plan for everything, I can relax and not worry as much. If things happen after that, then I usually am okay if things don’t go quite to plan. Unless it’s something big that makes all my planning useless. Planning calms me. Control calms me. 

So, here we are. Not in control. Plans possibly in the toilet. Not getting what I want when I want it.

I have decided to control the only thing I can control, and that’s my self. Yesterday, I threw a fit of sorts. Nothing serious, just upset. But today, I’m going to let God push on the doors for a little while. 

I’ve done everything I can to make this hasten the way it’s supposed to happen. The only thing I can do is hurt the process at this point. Acting up and demanding heads roll is not going to help. Calling them every five minutes and cussing and screaming will accomplish nothing good. 

So I wait. If infertility has taught me anything, please let it have taught me to coast through disappointment with maturity and wait with grace. 

I’m a firm believer that God’s plan for me is bigger than my family or my household. What he’s building in me is a big deal to him, and it’s gonna be needed for the road ahead. What he’s building in me is more than what I need to be a mother. It’s what I need for my life. 

So, Lord, restore me as an expert might restore a historic building. Don’t cover up my scars that show the beauty of my experiences, but replace foundations and broken places that affect my stability and soundness for the future. Tear down the cheap and quick fixes that I’ve used that have tarnished me. Remove walls that make me inaccessible or defy logic. 

When I see what you’re tearing down and become afraid, remind me that you are the expert, and I’m your masterpiece. It’s not I that is building the God of my dreams, but you that is building me into your master plan. 

Not my will, but yours be done. Not my timing. Not my plans. Yours alone. 

Amen.