Saturday, September 13, 2014

End of Summer Update

Hello Friends,
Well, 2014 has definitely been an odd year and not quite how I had hoped!  By now, I would have been at my goal weight.  My husband and I would have celebrated by going to Hawaii.  I would have gone on a few work trips.  I would have seen more friends and been in touch more.

However, it hasn't quite turned out that way.  Continuing my 2014 of health issues, I had a sigmoid colectomy at the end of August.  I actually thought the day wouldn't come, because I kept having one issue after another leading up to it.  I had 5 horrible weeks of Vertigo and bad thrush from all the antibiotics I had been on.  But, I made it to surgery day.  All went as well as one would have hoped. The surgeon was able to do it laprascopically.  I didn't lose my spleen and I didn't end up with a colostomy bag.  The first 24 hours in the hospital I was miserable.  Sooo much insane gas pain (they fill your abdomen with air).  After that, just mainly it was the incisional pain.  They kicked me out of the hospital 3 days later and I went home.  I was happy to be home but then missed the 24/7 care by the nurses.  My husband quickly got schooled on some things I don't think he ever thought he'd have to do.  Poor guy.  After being home for 2 days, I ended up going back to urgent care because the incision wound opened up.  So, now I had an infection in the site and they would need to clean/care for it.  This included now daily at home visits by the nurse to pack and change the bandage and more antibiotics.  My incision is 6cm deep and these heal at 1cm a month.  What????!!!!  I had only planned on being off of work for 2-3 weeks!  Ohhh heck.  Yep, it could take 4-6 months to heal all of the way!

Well, we are now almost 3 weeks post surgery.  Things are getting better, but very slowly.  Up until this point, I had been sleeping upright in a chair!  Not comfortable at all and awake half the night.  Last night was the first night I was able to get into bed.  Yay!  It was like heaven!  I've been doing more walking around the house. Laps. :)  It's too hot to go outside.  Freaking 100 F!  But, if I do, walking to get the mail is exciting!! :)  I've progressed from liquids and canned foods to some more fresh foods.  The frustrating part of the progression of all of this is the bowels.  They are no where near being "regular".  And, I can't go back to work until they are.  Come on colon!  It will be a very happy day when I have a regular day. :)  You will have thought I had won the lottery!

The nurse comes out now 3 times a week to do the bandage change.  My husband's father is here helping out, so it has been nice to have a dog walker and some company.  I've actually been tracking my food daily.  Ha, go figure!  Well, I mainly started because I needed to make sure I was eating enough calories and protein.  It's been a good way to ease back into WW.  I've had to step on a scale periodically to make sure I'm not retaining fluids, but so far it has been a 10 lb loss since surgery.  I bought a bunch of new clothes right before the surgery (probably stress spending!) and I'm looking forward to wearing them when I go back to work.  I'm actually looking forward to going to the gym too!  What?  Yep, I have major cabin fever!  My husband laughed when I said I would just kill to walk on a treadmill right now!  We always want what we can't have!  And man, I am just craving pizza ..Mexican ....Chinese ....hamburgers ...Subway... oh hell, anything with substance and flavor!  Strangely, I am not craving sweets so much. Well nothing other than my kryptonite of Sprinkles.

This experience is definitely teaching me patience, which is not something I have EVER been good at or enjoy.  I now understand the meaning of one day (or one minute) at a time!  It's so hard to feel 90% good, like your fine but then try to move and have the abdominal pain or go running to the bathroom.  It's also teaching me to sit with feelings, cravings, etc. Because I have no option to binge or "go off plan".  I picture my colon exploding and very bad things happening.  Haha!!  Maybe that's the visual I need to retain for the rest of my life when I want to deviate to not so healthy foods.

Well, that's where we are at the moment.  My big adventure for the weekend is taking a shower. :)  I'm sure soon enough this will all be a distant memory, but for now, it's 3:32pm on a Saturday and time for some cheese and crackers and more bad TV.  Need a daytime Soap or Talk Show update, just ask me!!!!!  

Thank you all for the beautiful flowers, thoughtful cards, and visits!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Long Overdue Post - Yikes 5+ months into 2014!

Dear Friends!
Wow, where does the time go?  I can't believe my last post was over 5 months ago!  Honestly, 2014 has not really gone the way I would have hoped for. :(  Towards the end of 2013 I had really gotten off track with my weight loss goals and was in the deep darkness of peri-menopause and hormones, binge eating, and sliding back into a depressive state.  I just couldn't seem to pull myself out of it and get things going again on the right track.  I would take 2 steps forward and 10 back.  I was up about 40 lbs from last October.  Just when I'd get a few good days of eating and exercise under my belt, BAM - I was hit with the most intense severe neck pain and spasms.  Over the course of 4 days it went from a pinched nerve to complete lockdown of my neck.  I was in horrendous pain fueled by heightened anxiety that this was it...... It was all coming down to this - time for neck surgery and I was no where ready for this!  I ended up at Urgent Care where they gave me some IV pain meds.  I immediately had a reaction and started vomiting.  I was now immensely uncomfortable.  After several hours, they seemed to get it calmed down and I went home on pain killers and muscle relaxants.  Well, the next morning Matt had already gone to work and I was dying in worse pain.  I thought to all heck I had slipped a disk in my neck, as I had no movement.  I called 911 and oh boy, that was not fun. :(  When you are in considerable pain, an ambulance ride is NOT the way to go!!  After several hours in the ER, they couldn't get the pain controlled so they admitted me to the hospital.  I spent the next 3 days in the hospital on Morphine, Percocet, steroids, Valium, you name it I was on it.  I was shocked how much it was taking to get rid of my pain.  I finally was discharged and stayed home the next several days recovering.  It took a bit longer to get off the Percocet then I had hoped.  NOW I know how one can become addicted!  It's not so much that I needed the pills anymore, it was when I tried to go without them I had horrible withdrawal symptoms - profuse sweating, massive anxiety, creepy crawlies on me, and intense frenetic energy where I just paced around the house for hours.  Ugh!!  Well, things finally seemed to calm down for a few weeks.  I went back to WW, started to walk some, but still wasn't 100% committed.  I couldn't shake this mild depression and hormone issues.

Until BAM, yep, another setback!  At this point I was truly asking who the heck did I piss off?!  I was having bad stomach pains for about 4 days and I finally dragged myself to urgent care over Memorial Day weekend.  You see, I really do despise urgent care as I end up spending an entire freaking day there!  When I went in, I thought it could perhaps be a bout of diverticulitis but I wasn't completely sure.  The dr. immediately said "No", probably a female thing.  So, they did an ultrasound and he said they had seen some mild fluid so it was most likely a ruptured ovarian cyst, and to go home and come back if it got worse.  Well, 3 more days go by and it is WAY worse!!  I can't take it anymore so I end up back at Urgent Care.  I told my boss I would be in a little late that day. :)  Well, they did a CT Scan and I get the wonderful news that not only is it diverticulitis but it now has an abscess!!  I was mad!!  I was soo angry that if this had been caught the first time, it most likely wouldn't have progressed to this.  Well, now I was being admitted to the hospital (AGAIN!) for IV antibiotics and a possible procedure.  I was soo not happy about this whole thing.  I was in the hospital for 3 days on IV Levaquin, Cipro, and Flagyl.  About Day 2 the pain was going away, but then the lovely side effects of the antibiotics massively hit.  UGH!!!!!!  They did a repeat scan on the 3rd day and saw that the abscess was improving so they weren't going to need to do a procedure.  THANK GOD!!!!  I was discharged on a liquid diet, antibiotics, and follow up appointments with a GI and surgeon.  Yep, a surgeon. :(

I met with the surgeon and she highly recommended surgery.  Not what I wanted to hear.  This will not be a fun surgery (are they ever?!)  I will spare you the details but they have to remove a large piece of my colon and re-hook things back up.  If I don't have this done, it could mean having these diverticulitis episodes often and eventually it would become emergent and/or the antibiotics would stop working.  I was also coming to realize myself that this was no way to continue living.  Never knowing when it would hit, and when it did hit, being down for 2 weeks at a time.  Soooo, the surgery has been scheduled for August 27th.  I'm praying I can stay well until then.  And praying even harder things go well.  I will be in the hospital for a week and then at home recovering for 3-5 weeks and off of work.  I'm hoping I can start working from home at week 4.

Meanwhile, I've had to re-focus my attention and efforts on losing weight, eating healthy, and exercising.  It certainly hasn't been easy, as my body freaking hurts this time around.  Lots of aches and pains.  I'm trying to take one day at a time, stay positive, and not freak out about things.  What good will that do?! :)  Work is insanely busy right now too, so I'm trying to balance that load and manage my health.  My biggest bummer is that I haven't had the opportunity to catch up with or see many of you lately!!  Please know that you are always on my mind and I think about you often, even if I am unable to call or see you.  I immensely appreciate all of your calls, emails, posts, and check-ins.  Thank you for your friendship and it means the world to me!!  My hope is that once I am through this, I can in-turn then be a better friend and share more in your lives.  I'm ready for this 2014 to turn around!

I hope you are doing well and please drop me a note if you get a chance.  I love hearing how you are doing and what is new!  I certainly hope your 2014 has been a much better year so far!

With love and friendship,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Back, One Step Forward in Mid-Strike

Happy New Year!
I love the sound of 2014. :) Just sounds better than 2013. Let's make it live up to its expectations! :)

Sooo, I WAS back. For a day. Felt great after all that yummy healthy food and tons of exercise, and then life.... The day after I got back I was walking the dogs and they saw another dog coming and went crazy. They don't like other 4-legged friends. I was off my game since I hadn't walked them for 2 weeks. Instead of standing still and letting them do their thing, and then get out of dodge. I tried to walk while they were doing their thing, we all got tangled, and I went down hard in the middle of the street. Right on the OTHER knee! I tell you. Someone does not want me to have sexy knees when I lose this weight. :( I cut up my hands, knee hurt like heck, but nothing seemed broken. I continued to sit there for 10 minutes to get my wits about me. I finally stood up and had to continue walking them. That was not fun. As soon as I got home I ice'd it and took advil. Thank gosh, it didn't turn out like the other knee, which I still (a year later) have not recovered from! Yeah, it was the casualty of Christmas Card writing! Hmm, I since a theme here. Can I skip December in 2014? So, this kind of put a damper on my continued exercise regime and the racing around getting all of Christmas done in 1 day. :( I sat on the couch for the next 24 hours nursing the knee. I mustered up the energy to do a little necessary shopping, went to a movie that had recliner chairs, and then headed to Christmas Eve. It was nice. Good food, so fun to see the family. The next day was just hubby and me! We have not had a Christmas Day by ourself ever, so that was nice. We ordered Mimi's Turkey Dinner and pumpkin pie and it was delicious. I was going to go to the gym the next day, but I'm not sure what happened. I didn't. Things started to unravel from there. Started having bad stomach pain and GI issues. This went on for several days. I finally went to Urgent Care, thinking it was probably diverticulitis (and would need antibiotics). The dr wasn't sure it was, but ordered tests, but no ct. Said if it got worse, to come back. Well, by Monday it had gotten worse. A whole lot worse!! The most horrific GI issues I've ever had and it just wouldn't stop. I hadn't eaten or drank anything in days. Finally, I went back to Urgent Care yesterday. The tests had all come back, and were negative. No parasites or e.coli. He ordered a ct scan. Actually, no diverticulitis either. What?! Then what the heck is going on. Well, the pain was most likely do to a ruptured ovarian cyst they saw on ct. Huh?! Didn't expect that one. Okay, but what about the GI issues? Probably just horrible IBS. Are you kidding me?

So, was told to start eating low fiber white stuff (rice, bread, bananas), take Immodium. I did. Oh my heck. 2 hours later last night I thought I was on death's door. Immense stomach pain and now the opposite GI issue. Good grief. I thought we'd be headed to the ER before long. It finally subsided after an hour, and I was able to lie down and go to sleep. Today, well today has been slightly better, but not hugely improved. This is so frustrating. I'm supposed to go back to work tomorrow after my long and restful vacation!  Well, at least half of it was.  Thanks to hubby for being nurse, housecleaner, dog walker, and everything else on his few days that he had off!  Guess I can consider that his pay back for the 40th bday Vegas disaster. :)

As for 2014 goals and WW, I'm taking it one day at a time right now. Not really eating "healthy" as I can't have much fiber, but I'm not eating junk or very much either. I'll get back to the gym when I feel able to, hopefully next week. But again, one day at a time for now.

I hope your 2014 is off to a GREAT start!