Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Rant...

It's enough to make you crazy!

So I get a few magazines at home. I don't generally buy them, but one of my kiddos was selling them for a school fundraiser.

I think I get 3. This month they are all full of Holiday recipes and decorating ideas. You know they are "healthy living" type magazines cause my life revolves around that...we've had that discussion. Anyway, I'm reading these magazines and find similar stories in each of the 3. By the time I finish the second magazine I am full-blown P.O'd. I can't believe smart, educated women fall for this crap.

One page had a woman talking about her 70 pound weight loss. She credited eating on smaller plates and a low-cal version of pumpkin pie.

Seriously, why didn't I think of that?

The next article was supposed secrets of women who are Naturally thin.

Secret Weapon #1 was "Comfy Shoes".....wait this gets better.
#3 was "Great knife skills" the implication is that she chops and dices to whip up healthy food.
#5 was "a great pair of jeans". Naturally thin women apparently keep themselves in check by using their jeans as a litmus test. If they get tight, they know to cut back.

I hope I'm not the only one to find these suggestions down right RIDICULOUS! As if I am fat because I don't have the right shoes or jeans. This is completely insulting to women who have "real" situations to deal with.

Anyway, the magazines did offer a few reasonable suggestions but there is no way anyone can fix their weight issues by reading this crap.

K, I'm over it. :)


Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm Back

I went back to work this week. Bittersweet. I was soo dreading it, but after 3 days there, I realize that I LOVE my job. I LOVE my co-workers and I LOVE the work I do. I guess a step back can give some new perspective. I have really been blessed with my career. I have been at Driscoll for 17 years! I have strayed a few times to follow my crazy ideas, but all in all it's actually a pretty good family to be in. :)

The Thanksgiving holidays were great. At the last minute, the fam and I decided to go to Lubbock. Trey has family there that we don't get to see very often. It was really nice catching up with them and having the traditional holiday festivities with extended family.

I was exactly 4 weeks post op on Thanksgiving. It was so nice to just eat like a normal person and not be mentally obsessed with this:

~did I eat too much?
~will people look at me funny if I get seconds?
~I want to have a piece of ALL of the pies.
~can anyone tell I just unbuttoned my pants?
~am I gonna be able to eat leftovers later?

These are the voices that used to taunt me. They would encourage me to stuff, stuff, stuff, then beat me up for it. These voices were the most unhealthy relationship I have ever been involved with!

The best thing about my band is that the discussion with those voices is GONE. I mean GONE! It's not that I am stronger than I was. It's not that I have more willpower. It's not a matter that I will become ill if I eat those foods. I think Dr. Griffin excised those voices during surgery. Honestly, it's the only explanation.

When I have a more scientific explanation, I'll be sure to let you all know.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jenny got a Fill.....

My first fill was last Tuesday. I am super excited to start on the "adjustable" part of this Band journey. To be honest though, I was kind of scared.

To say it was easy would be an understatement. Dr. G had me lay on my back and he felt around. He had me lift my head off the table in order to flex my belly. Once he decided he had found the port he injected a little lidocaine. That was the only thing I felt. It was like a sting that only lasted 3 seconds or so. He put the needle in the port and pulled back all he could.

There was about 1cc in my band from surgery. He added an additional 1cc and we were done. I have 2cc's in my 10cc band. 4 weeks til my next appointment.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


USING ONLY ONE WORD! Dumb and meaningless but a post all the same. I am working on a real post...stay tuned!

1. Where is your cell phone? nightstand
2. Your significant other? work
3. Your hair? ugh
4. Your mother? gone
5. Your father? generous
6. Your favorite flower? Hydrangia
7. Your dream last night? disturbing
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream/goal? tranquility
10. What room you are in? bedroom
11. Your hobby? photography
12. Your fear? tragedy
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? retired
14. Where were you last night? home
15. Something that you are not? thin
16. Muffins? breakfast
17. Wish list item? patience
18. Where you grew up? divorce
19. Last thing you did? laundry
20. What are you wearing? shirt
21. Your TV? off
22. Your pets? dogs
23. Friends? cherished
24. Your life? complete
25. Your mood? lazy
26. Missing some one? family
27. Car? yukon
28. Something you're not wearing? socks
29. Your favorite beach? Padre
30. Your favorite store? Target
30. Your favorite color? Green
33. When is the last time you laughed? Today
34. Last time you cried? forgot
36. One place that I go to over and over? work
37. One person who texts me regularly? lori
38. My favorite place to eat? home
39. My favorite food? meat

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I hit 30 pounds today. It feels so good to have 30 pounds off! I can't believe it! I am so super happy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My funny P Man

Yesterday the boys and I had a mini vacation! We drove to Aransas Pass to the aquatic center (yup, we swim in the 85 degree weather in November in South Texas), then headed to the Boiling Pot in Rockport for lunch. Yum, by the way.

From Rockport, we decided to drive to the Aransas County Wildlife Refuge. None of us had ever been and the Whooping Cranes are here this time of year. The only wild Whooping Population in North America comes to this park every winter. There are only like 242 of them living in the wild. Anyway, we were driving through the park and Creyton (my 13 year old), asks if he can drive. We were in a secluded park, NO other traffic with a speed limit of 25. I'm thinking it's a PERFECT driver's education scenario!

As he was driving safely along we were spotting snakes, alligators, birds and deer. All the deer got me humming "Doe a Deer" from "Sound of Music". Creyton hasn't seen it, but Philip saw it alot at Beacon House. So P and I are teaching Creyton the lyrics.

Philip randomly says, "I just don't understand how they got out in that meadow on those hills. I don't think the second one has come out yet." To which I replied, "Son, that movie is like 40 years old. I don't think there will be a second one." "Hmmm" he said. "Guess we won't find out."


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Since I started this blog a few days ago I've been thinking about what is going on in my life. In the past two years I have really put myself through some major life stressors.

November of 2007 was my first trip to Ghana. I am forever a changed person because of the experiences that trip afforded me. Not only did I meet my second son and eventually adopt him in April of 2008, but I came face to face with my maker in Ghana.

I found and experienced Jesus Christ in that small west African country. When you strip down all of the extra things that we worry about, the genuine love and goodness of people is all that is left. In a country where 90% of the population earns less than $1000 USD per year, there is no worry about 401K's, about higher education or about health insurance. They are concerned with today. You could argue that we are all called to live this way according to scripture. Of course in the world that WE know, it wouldn't be wise or prudent to do so. At any rate, it was refreshing to see a slower pace of life and heart warming to feel the genuine love they feel for people. I hope to learn to love people in that way.

I traveled again to Ghana in May 2008. This time to be special agent "Mom" in an undercover covert operation to finalize my son's adoption! Looking back on it now, it seems like it was another person in another dimension, but it was me. Me, at my tallest, strongest and fiercest! You can read more about that journey over at

Once we returned from Ghana we had the issues of adjustment including school. This has all gone pretty smoothly, but an adjustment all the same.

In November of last year, I got this bright idea to get braces on my teeth. I am 39 years old. Someone please tell me what I was thinking.

We have been in the process of completely re-modeling our house since Jan 1, 2009. This situation alone would cause weaker women to jump from high places.

I serve on the Board of Directors of Beacon House USA, Inc. This is the house where my son resided in Ghana and the facility I volunteered at as a nurse while I was there both trips.

My church is trying desperately to provide clean water to my son's native village in Northern Ghana. In conjunction with that project, we are trying to set up a Medical Mission Trip to provide some basic education and health needs.

I have been going through the required hoops for Gastric Banding surgery. That includes actual office visits as well as personal soul searching and research. I consider myself a "book whore" so of course I bought 3 books on the subject and had to read them all cover to cover. I also scour the Internet for any bit of new information I may not have seen yet.

I actually had surgery and am now recovering nicely.

Two days ago I signed on as a Consultant with Inspiranza Designs. I love James Avery and sterling silver jewelry. This company is new and offers AMAZING incentives for consultants and hostesses! I'm talkin'free jewelry! A great way to earn a little extra cash. It's beautiful, fresh and timeless!

Did I mention that I also have a full time job as a Pediatric Nurse. Oh yeah, and a family, a house and 3 dogs.

Now all I need is a magic wand.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here she is!

At my first visit after surgery, Dr. G gave me some pictures of my procedure! I'm so glad to have them, it's like sharing pictures of my new baby.

It's a GIRL! And I've named her Jenny. She's a fickle one. Mostly sweet and mild mannered, but can kick butt if needed. On those butt kickin' occasions I call her J-Lo.

Week 1

The first night is a Hydrocodone fog. My son told me I looked like I had been shot 3 times and stabbed once. To be honest, that's EXACTLY what it looked like. Still kind of does, only in a healing kind of way. :) I was only sore at my port site. I was out walking the dog on post op day 3. The heavy breathing made the shoulder pain worse, but I wanted to walk it out.
Some time in the first couple of days I noticed the pain, numbness, tingling on my lateral right thigh. I didn't think too much about it. I assumed the grounding pad had been there or that someone had leaned on me during surgery. I assumed it would resolve quickly and would be no big deal.
By post op day 12 the pain was still there and really beginning to be a nuisence. I discovered it was directly related to the last intramuscular injection of Demerol I got before I left the hospital. When I pushed on the injection site, I would elicit the pain in my thigh. Weird...Meralgia Paresthetica. I am taking pain medicine and hoping it goes away, but it doesn't seem to be getting any better.
So aside from my MP, I'm doing pretty good. My port site only hurts if I strain my abdomen the wrong way and the rest of the incisions are healing nicely. This picture is from post op day 8.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Post Op.

I don't remember anything about the recovery room except moving the O2 prongs from my nose to my forehead. They were bothering me. I also remember Dr. G telling me my liver looked awesome and that I had done a great job on my pre-op liquid diet. (I guess he didn't find any biscuit remnants)
I got back to the pre-op area and my friend LW was there waiting for me. How sweet. I was glad to be done with surgery, and glad to see a familiar face. I didnt have too much pain, I just wanted to sleep a bit more. I had an icepack on my port site and probably plenty of narcotic on board cause I slept for a while.
Technically, I would have been ready to go but I had to have a barium swallow before discharge to make sure my band was patent. The Radiologist was doing a thyroid biopsy or something. I got some more Demerol IM in the meantime.
It wasn't until after 2pm that I was taken to Radiology. Once that study was done, I was discharged! Yea! On my way home to start the rest of my new lifestyle!


I got to the hospital at 0600. I beat the registration person there. No biggie, I'm late to work sometimes too. :) She was wearing too much perfume though.

They called me back about 0640. The usual stuff: change into the gown, vital signs and a few more questions. I was mostly compliant. I had called and found out that they didn't catheterize Lap-Band patients so I left my underwear on. I didn't see the need to remove them. Any of you who know me at all, know that I only follow rules that I like. :) Panties on for me.

A 20g to my left hand. I commented and the nurse told me I was lucky she hadn't used an 18g. I decided I better keep my thoughts to myself. ;) I had to give blood for a pregnancy test, I got 5000u of subcu Heparin and an Albuterol nebulizer treatment. The Albuterol gave me a horrible taste in my mouth and made me feel jittery. About 0750 they took me surgical holding.

I had my interview with Anesthesia and the circulating nurse. Now we were just waiting on Dr. G. Once he arrived, I completed all the consents and got my IV Versed. Wheeeee....a ride on the stretcher! I remember wheeling into the OR suite and the Oxygen mask on my face.......fade. to. black.

An Oldie but Goodie...

1. I love my bed. I love everything about it. I could sleep 23 hours a day.

2. My pregnancy was planned. I bought a book titled "How to Choose the Sex of your Baby". I wanted a spring baby boy. My son was born in April. That book went 3 for 3.

3. I was a military brat growing up. My family moved all over Asia before settling in Flour Bluff in 1980.

4. I struggle with addiction.

5. "Blood Diamond" caused me to travel to Ghana, West Africa where I was forever a changed person. I could write 25 random things on that subject alone.

6. I am a head over heels large- breed dog lover. Personally I own Golden Retrievers but I would break my own neck to love on almost any big dog.

7. My family is currently re-building our house. It has been quite the experiment in patience. Imagine pouring a slab, setting all of your belongings on it including family members, and telling the contractor to build around you. Thats currently how I live. It's not pretty.

8. I am a bit of a hoarder. During this re-build, I have found enough gift-wrap, cards and tissue paper to last a few years. Sad...

9. I absolutely LOVE books. Amazon delivers to my house at least twice weekly.

10. I am an adoptive parent of a 9 year old Ghanaian child. He is beautiful and strong and has taught me many things about life.

11. I follow Calallen High School (boys) sports to an unhealthy degree. My oldest son is only in middle school.

12. I have 3 college degrees. I tend to be a restless spirit and am currently considering a career in dog grooming. :)

13. I've always wanted to play piano, speak spanish, learn sign language and write a book. I am smart enough to do all of these things, but too lazy to do any of them.

14. My mother died when I was 21 and I secretly fear dying young.

15. The funniest things always happen to me. I have tons of hilarious stories, but I am a terrible story teller so not many people have heard them.

16. I secretly LOVE Big Brother. I practically wait all year for that single show.

17. I like to think I am super organized. I love labels, folders, containers, storage solutions, hooks, desk accessories and the like. I can't breathe or speak when I am in "The Container Store".

18. I am a Apple girl. Once I got an IMac, i never looked back.

19. I am super independent. I have done practically any/all home improvement projects, even installed a garage door opener when I was pregnant. My husband says I'm "handy as a shirt-pocket." He taught me everything I know.

20. My husband is indeed my favorite person. He is the smartest, funniest person I know.

21. I am a fan of James Avery.

22. I live with regret, but am facing those demons.

23. I refuse to go to circuses. My grand-parents were professional clowns and I am deeply scarred. Plus, elephants aren't meant to sit on balls, nor are monkeys meant to ride bikes. It's just wrong.

24. I sit on public toilets. Yes, I do. I wipe them off and then sit down and pee. I am begging all of you who "hover" to do the same. If we all just sat down, there would be no "pee-spray" all over the place. Come on ladies, the handle on the cart you push at the grocery store is dirtier than the seat in the public rest-room. JUST SIT DOWN ALREADY!

25. I am self diagnosed ADD and OCD. I want to constantly wash my hands, but sometimes I get distracted. :)

Written about 5 months ago ·

Secret v. Tell the World

Initially only 3 people knew of my plans to be banded. I just didn't want to deal with everyone else's opinions. You know what the say about opinions...just like other things, everyone has one.

I had already done my research. I had done my soul search. I know my body and my addiction. I didn't need anyone to give me their 2 cents.

I like to consider myself the fattest weight loss expert on the planet. If there is a book, I have it. A diet, I've done it. A pill, gimmick, tool, tip, potion, lotion, bracelet, program, rub-on, spray-on, special shoe or whatever...I've done it. I even BOUGHT a franchised ladies only fitness center! Can any of you say that? I owned a stinkin' GYM people!

I know the scientific and medical facts of metabolism and nutrition. I'm a nurse. I know the number of calories in almost every food. I know the specific details of Adkins vs. SouthBeach vs. The Zone. I know and have relationships with Jenny and Nutri-Systems. I have joined Weight Watchers at least 20 times. Have the T-Shirt, the mug, the scales and the keychain!

I don't believe you can give me ONE weight loss fact that I haven't already heard and pondered over. I CAN tell all of you well intentioned family and friends a few things that YOU don't know. I have a FOOD ADDICTION! I am a drug addict when it comes to food. If you have seen Intervention or Hoarders you might begin to understand this situation. It is a pit of despair. I ate before functions so I wouldn't look like a pig. I hid food from my kids so I could have the last ________. I could and would eat 4 (FOUR) packages of instant oatmeal at a sitting. I could and would eat an entire Medium cheese pizza for a meal. I was eating as much or more than my husband or my 13 year old son at any given meal.

My family ate over $1600 a month in fast food in any given month. Wow. Sinful and Unhealthy. So I got a little off-course here.

My point is this: What am I hiding from? Why would I not tell people? Because of fear of failure? Because I don't want people to know I'm not perfect? Because I don't want people to think I took the easy way out? Because I don't want to be judged or talked about? Hmmm....all of these things are gonna happen whether I tell or don't. A co-worker of mine was blabbing her mouth about me having Bariatric Surgery before I even DECIDED to have surgery. Rumors are like wildfire. People will draw their own conclusions and say what they want. They will talk and judge no matter what. I decided I don't give two cares over what anyone thinks or says.

And that's it. Read on or move on, either way it's okay with me.

A sort of Fat pic.

I don't often allow my picture taken, so this is the best I have right now. A fat head shot. I do, however, look like I could eat my friend Meg beside me in one clean bite so I think it makes the point. This was during my pre-op liquid diet at about 248 pounds.

October 26, 2009 A NEW DAY!

On Monday 10/26/09 I was scheduled to finally have my band placed! I was super excited. My sweet, thoughtful husband dropped me off in the morning. He even stopped the car to let me out before he zipped off to work. It's what he What can I say, I still love him. My girlfriend had arranged to take me home after surgery, so it was fine. Truly, I don't like to be bothersome to other people anyway. A ride there, a ride home, I could do the rest all by my BIG self.

I guess here is a perfect time to explain the title of my blog. I had been on a liquid diet for 13 days pre-op. I was very weak on Sunday the day before surgery. I saw the blue and silver can in the fridge out of the corner of my was more than I could fight. I unrolled that foil and heard the heart warming pop of the can as I pressed my fat thumbs into the line. I think I started to hop around the kitchen like my fat dog does just before I feed him in the morning. I waited the 16 minutes and then I completely. lost. control.

I ate ALL 8 of those beautiful golden Grand biscuits. I ate some with honey, some with grape jelly, but all with butter. All 8 of them. I LOVE BISCUITS and it was my last date with that perfect blue and silver cylindrical can. I was miserable and euphoric all at the same time. It was a beautiful, miserable, sad hour.

And then I went to bed...

February 2008 - pre-op...

I go to my GP and he convinces me that i can do this weight loss thing on my own. I skip a month here and there and before I know it I'm 10 months later, 30 pounds heavier and facing feelings of sheer hopelessness!

I decided in May of 2009 that I was done with this game. I am a volume eater and I have food addiction! I haven't had a drink in nearly 4 years, I haven't smoked a cigarette in even longer. I have even curbed my mouth of the vulgar language I used to use. I'm not a stranger to will-power. I can do things I set my mind to. I just can't control the chemical addiction I have to over eating.

In comes Glenn Griffin, DO. He was advertising lap band seminars here in my city. I made an appointment and the rest they say, is history. I had to re-do my Psych and nutrition consults. This time my chart was accurate 5'7, 254.

"Holy Crap Batman, she weighs more than you", says Robin. (I should have kicked Robin's butt for that insensitive remark...)

I didn't lose any weight during my 6 month Physician Supervised Diet. Mostly because I wasn't exactly inspired by the nutritionist in Dr. G's office. I mean, he's nice enough, just not someone I jived with. I dreaded going in to see him, it was a real beat-down for me. But I got through it.

One of the last things before surgery was a meeting with a different nutritionist at the hospital where I was having surgery. She was such a delight! What a HUGE difference. She was a band patient herself and had soo much information. I was certain that I had made the right choice after that consult.

All I had to do was wait 2 weeks for surgery! Oh yeah, and only drink liquids. Sheesh...thats kind of alot to ask of a food addict, don't ya think?

Some History

In my mind I have always been fat. When I look back at photos, however, I realize that while I may have been bigger that some people, I have NOT always been fat. So I change my first statement to: I have always had Body Dysmorphic Syndrome.

I am a bigger girl than most. I am muscular and strong. I have always been healthy. Until I hit about 30 I was able to diet and yo-yo my weight in and out of acceptable weight range. I should enter a confession here and say that I rarely did the work required to get as low as I wanted. I just did enough to keep me out of the "socially unacceptable" weight range.

I wear scrubs to work. Another caveat. 50 pounds can sneak right into those scrubs beside you and you never know it! Seriously! I have worn the same scrubs to work for 5 years. Those scrubs saw me at 190 and 254. Not a word of a lie. Heed my warning scrub wearing peeps, it's a slippery slope.

I have been considering Lap Band since 2007. I was uncomfortable on my 2nd trip to Africa. The flight, the heat, the travel in country. It was all more difficult than it should have been for me. I decided it was my weight dragging me down.

But when I first started looking into it, my BMI was only about 36. I weighed about 228 and am 5'7. My insurance was covering it but you had to be at least 100 pounds overweight with a BMI of 40. I was driving to San Antonio for consults at that time cause no-one local was doing Lap-Band.

I managed to get my chart to reflect 5'5 and 249. Can't tell you how or I'd have to kill you. :) But let's just say I was determined to get banded. I had my seminar, my nutrition and my psychological evaluations all under my belt. Now I just had to see the doctor once a month for 5 more months....that was February 2008.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Number 1

A new blog. My first post. 1 week Post op. I should go back a bit and catch you all up.