Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kidney Stone

Well Christmas came early for me.....NOT. 
For some reason, as soon as my husband leaves and is unavailable, I get SICK.  Last time I had a raging UTI, this time I have a kidney stone. 
My husband went to go visit and drive back with my Dad who is contracting in Iowa.  They don't get back til Christmas Eve.  I literally dropped him off hours before my first major symptom.

I had suspected I MIGHT be getting a UTI, due to some occasional sharp pains, and general aching/cramping in my lower back.  Well, yesterday around noon, it hit. 
(TMI warning). 
I thought maybe it was just horrible I tried to go potty.
Instead, I doubled over in the most excrutiating pain I've ever had in my life. 
My hubby was gone, and my mom asleep after working all night, so I did my best to suffer in silence.
The pain slowly subsided enough to where I could function somewhat.
(I kid you not, had I woken mom up to take me to the hospital, I wouldn't have been able to get dressed or walk.)
Well, I'm "recovered" enough now, that I can make the necessary calls with the insurance company to see where I can go since I'm out of town for Christmas.  I get a number and directions, and head over ASAP.

The Urgent Care clinic was surprisingly quick, and the doctor really nice.  They did a urinalysis and blood work, and from the tests they could do in house, they saw blood in the urine, and suspected either a mild bladder infection (due to low white blood cells), or a kidney stone.
As of this moment, I'd taken a pain pill I'd had for my foot, and wasn't in too much pain, just cramping.
So the doc sends me home, and says if the pain continues/gets worse, he had ordered a CAT scan at the local hospital, and to go do that.

Well, on my way out, the nurse gives me an appt to return the next morning, and when I asked if the CAT scan should be done before then, she said she would if she were me.
So, I make an appt, but its now after hours, and I have to go through the ER.
This "frightens" me.  I thought I'd be waiting for hours, and I'd been at the clinic a few hours already.
It was also surprisingly speedy.
I just had to register in the ER, and then went right up to CT.

I'd had an MRI before, but never a CAT scan.  It was simple enough, and within half an hour, the Urgent Care doc called to tall me it was a 3-4mm kidney stone.  UGH.
Well so far the pain meds I was on was working fine, so he said he'd see me in the morning.

Right before I'd left for my scan, I'd taken a pain pill (around 6:30), and at 9:00 it started wearing off.  (its a 6 hour I was like...hmmm)
I went VERY quickly from mild discomfort to OH MY LORD. 
I had just made plans for my brother to swing by and when he calls, I answer the phone bawling.
He gets off the phone to set up some people to come give me a blessing.
Not 2 minutes later, my husband instinctively calls (it dawned on HIM that my pain meds won't be strong enough, but not on me or the doc).  I must have scared him to death.  I answer the phone, but cannot talk, and can barely breathe.  I'm bawling and almost hyperventilating.  He hangs up, and coordinates with mom (at work) and my brother to take me to the hospital.

Immediately my brother comes to get me, and my sister in law's dad meets us there (for a blessing). 
The pain is now coming in waves, so one minute I'm functioning, the next I have to go to my happy place.
The ER gets me in pretty quick, and since they already have the CAT scan and a diagnosis, he gives me an option:  I can stay in the hospital a couple hours with an IV drip, or they can give me a strong anti-inflammatory and a perscription for some vicodin and send me home.
Since it was after 10pm , and I had others waiting on me....I said "as long as I'm not in pain, I'd like to go home".  So, in and out within an hour.

My bro and his father in law take me home to give me a blessing (which worked wonders BTW), and my bro dropped off my Rx.
My mom got off work early to have someone home with me, and we went and got the Rx together.  On the way, I got another wave of horrid pain.   I can't even imagine if I'd been driving. 
It only lasted 5-10 mins, and I was okay-ish again, and grabbed my meds.

So here I am today.  I woke up feeling fine, slept through the night well. 
My out of town doc is getting with my home doc to get me to a urologist. 
I was doing fine, but as I write this I feel a wave of nausea hitting, and PRAY that's all it is. 
So I'm gonna go.
I'll try and keep y'all updated.


Friday, December 17, 2010


OK, so I apologize profusely for not writing in so long.  I don't always know what to talk about. 
My main excuse is my husband took (is taking) all of December off work, and we have been enjoying each other's time together. 
We learned about 2 weeks ago he will be deploying early next year.  It was a very last second thing.  He had been scheduled to go in 2012.  So, we're preparing for that as well.
I have now accepted it.  It was a giant slap in the face at first though.  Christmas has changed some in prep of the deployment.  I gave my hubby all his gifts right away to be able to wear and enjoy while he's home.  He got some college football shirts and a new jacket, a nice warm throw, and a painting I had a friend make for him of the Green Lantern.  (it goes with his Phantom and Scarface paintings I had made by the same guy).

Ok, now for the BIG news!!!  I got a call last week offering me a surgery date!!!
January 20th baby!!  It will be after the holidays, and while hubby's still home, so it'll be perfect!
I will be an entirely different person physically by the time he gets home.  People keep asking me how he'll react to that.  I asked him, and he was like "I don't know, I am a laid back person - I'm cool with whatever".  Hee.  He makes me giggle.  That's why I couldn't think of how he'd react, because he would love me no matter what.  I WILL however knock his socks off!!! 

I attended a support group the day I got my date, and met a bunch of ladies who'd either had the sleeve or the lap band.  It re-inforced that the sleeve is the best option for me.  Ladies were saying how after the sleeve, they no longer craved sweets or chocolate, and even sugar free carnation instant breakfast was too sweet for them.  But lap band patients were still craving and eating both.  The difference is the removing of the hormone production ghrenlin.  It's what makes you hungry and crave stuff.  I'd venture to say that's what is a lot of us chubby gal's problem.  So that makes me optimistic.  Also, they were singing praises of the military hospital and the doctors there.  I was nervous about that.  I'm not anymore.

Right now we are visiting with family for the holidays.  We went all out for my nephews' present.  I spent weeks searching Craigslist for a basketball goal at a good price.  (they had come to visit us for Thanksgiving, and we'd just bought ourselves one, and the boys LOVED IT)  So I really wanted to surprise them with one.  Well, we drove out to see one, and it was literally a piece of crap.  There was another that this douche bag was over-selling in his ad, and wouldn't drop lower than $65.  So, we bit the bullet, and bought a new one (for $65!)!  Since my hubby won't be here next Christmas, he really wanted to go all out this year.
I'm excited!!!  (if you know my nephews or brother, don't give the secret away!!!)

Well, I can't think of much else to chat on right now.  I will try my hardest to post more often. 
Thanks for reading!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Past Week

 So my good buddy (holla!) was fussing at me for not "maintaining my blog".  I originally wanted this to be about my weight loss story, but since that's not progressing right now, I shall entertain y'all with my life!  EXCITED YET???  Oh Boy!!

I have pulled out my journal to make sure I fill you in completely and leave nothing to the imagination!  Muahahaha!! 

Ok, well, on the 28th, we got one of my kittens fixed.  She did very well, but one of the lovely perks of spaying, is they need to be seperated from the others for 10 days.  Oy.  No jumping, wrestling, playing, or merry making of any kind.  So, I transformed the Man Cave into a cozy habitat for my Wiley.  Litterbox, waterbowl, lots of blankets and beds, toys, and an open window blinds to peer out of.

Wiley wearing the E-Collar

Well....the first couple days, she was literally recovering, and was glad for the solitude. 
There was one point she got bad diarrhea and we had to move her to the bathroom so she didn't ruin anything in the Man Cave.  It was only for a day or two. 
Once day 5 came around, she was feeling much better, and now wanted company constantly, and wanted OUT.    I did my best to go in and visit as often as I could.  I'd spend 10mins-2hours at a time....I'd eat breakfast in there, watch TV, etc to multitask.  :)
Well, like I said, she was getting restless, so she'd spend 70% of her time banging on the door and meowing to get out.  Poor Pookie. 
We attempted to put an E- Collar on her when she started to lick her stitches, but after coming home to her with her are up to her arm pit stuck in the collar, we decided to take it off. 
Today was RELEASE day!!  She got her stitches removed, and is now FREEEEE!  She immediately commenced in wrestling with the other kitten we have.    I am so glad that's over, but our other kitten, Patchy will be getting spayed in a month or two.....  OY!!

When my mama was in town a week or two ago, she gave me a nice bread maker. I've played with it a few times now.  I made French bread (because it was the only kind I could make with no dry milk), and then cinnamon raisin bread - YUM!!  I just adore the smell of fresh baked bread throughout the house. 
I'd surprised my hubby with the French Bread when he got back from JRTC. 

We went to Kohl's the other day.  This is kind of big because I worked there in 2007, and since the job sucked so bad, I somewhat boycotted Kohl's ever since.  Well, when my mama was here, I opened an account to get a Dyson vacuum (saweeeet!), and my hubby and I went back the other day.  It was an un-advertised night owl, early bird sale, and boy did we clean up!!  I literally saved $240!!  I got a new pair of shoes, and they are women's shoes for the first time in years!!  They're white with purple trim!  YAY!  They were $11.99 plus 20% off coupon!  We also got some Christmas presents, mostly for ourselves, hehe.  I was able to find a good replacement pillow for my couches, and got a bunch. 

Halloween came and went for us.  We don't really hardly ever celebrate it.  We're not against it, we just don't have kids, nor are we big partiers.  We bought some candy just in case, but not one trick or treater came by.  (too bad) 

My hubby has had two 4-day weekends in a row - both to recover from JRTC.  It's been awesome.  We got a TON done.  A little "spring cleaning" if you will.  It started when I asked his opinion on how to re-arrange my craft room.  His brilliant idea (not being facitious), was to clear out the hallway closet for me.  And for me to be somewhat ruthless and try and get rid of a lot of stuff, both craft and regular.  Boy did that open a can of worms!!  We moved the stuff from the hall closet to the living room closet, craft stuff to the hall closet, and most of the hall closet/living room closet stuff was to get rid of, and leftovers went in the bedroom closet, which it too was cleaned out!!
We worked on all that about 2 days rigorously, and the rest of the time I work a little here and there to organize my craft stuff.  I used to sell PartyLite and Stampin Up, so a lot of my old paperwork got shredded, and I cleared out a lot of space.  

Of the massive amount of stuff to get rid of, I made a Craigslist pile and a Freecycle pile.  I spent a whole afternoon posting everything on Craigslist.  We're trying to sell our queen size bed that went in the garage when we upgraded to king size.  No real bites yet.  Fingers crossed still.  I did sell a few items though!  I offered everything else in one big lot for Freecycle and the friggin lady who I offered it to stood me up.  I HATE that.  So, I'm gonna go down the list of people asking for it. 

One of our weekend days was spent re-organizing the garage as well.  We have been working like mad people, but it's been great.  We also did yard work in the front and back.  I was on "fluff duty" (cleaning up all the innards from shredded stuffed animals strewn about the back yard), weed pulling the gardens, and trimming the hedges.  Oh yeah, and I MAY have cut through the extension cord while trimming.....maybe.  :D  whoopsie!

I have come to a conclusion - that we do best when we have "free time" and extra money. 
We went to WalMart late one night, and we were just gigglie and happy and goofy walking up and down the aisles browsing.  It reminded me of when we were first married.  I'm sure it'd be like that for a lot of couples, huh?  Take away the pressure of work and bills, and everythings great! 

Me and my bum leg.
I found an ad on Craigslist for a basketball goal, and yesterday we went and got it.  We had to take it apart to fit in our HHR, but it worked.  It's so great having it.  We played some HORSE, then went to WalMart, and I got a PINK ball!!  Yay!!  Our next item for it will be a ball return.  I love playing, but I can play SO much longer when I don't have to chase the dang ball.  My foot just gives out on me so quickly, I try to make it last as long as I can.  It's so fun spending that time with him though. 

idn't he cuuute??


little better pic of me

(FORGIVE ME!!  I'm new at blogging, and just figuring out how to do the pictures and stuffs!)

That's the main stuffs that has occurred the past week or two.  My hubby will be having a good chunk of vacation coming up, and we're really looking forward to it.  He needs the time off, and I know we'll get some more projects done.  We're gonna finish painting the bathroom soon - before company comes for Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You're Freaking Kidding Me!!!

Ok, so it's 5 days until my Nutritionist appt, and she is having me journal everything I eat, and when I eat, and why I eat for 3 weekdays, and 2 weekend days.  It's a challenge to remember to do it, but I got into the swing of it again quickly, flashbacking to my weight watcher days. 

I try not to let my writing influence what I ate, to keep it real, but just the fact that you are conscious of what you eat, restricts what you eat.  It was kind of like a pre-mini-diet.
I did good though, and was 100% honest.

So on to today....
At 9:00 is my nutritionist appointment.  I go to check in, and the old bats at the desk are all flustered and confused and send me to wait.  When they call me back up, they tell me that my appointment was cancelled because insurance did not approve it.  UMMM CRAP???
So, I call the surgeon's office, and they confirm that insurance was denied, that it just wouldn't cover the sleeve done by a civilian doctor. 

Well, I get back to my car, and do the only thing I have a choice to do.  I call the Army Hospital. 
I am still on their bypass list.  (ohhhh, quick flashback....)
A week or so ago, before the Hospital A seminar, I get a call from the Army hospital head nurse telling me they won't be doing any bypasses til after the first of the year.  Me, being honest to a fault, tell her I am attempting to have surgery at Hospital A.  She asks if I'm having the sleeve done, and when I said yeah, cuz that's all they offer, she says "oh, well, I can offer you the sleeve surgery on the 21st of this month.  You'd have to start your liquid diet now."
JAW ON FLOOR.  Wow, tempting.  But I REALLY want to have it done at the nice, clean civilian hospital, and my husband won't even be home until November anyhow, so thank you but no. 
I asked about dates in November, and again, she refused to say anything.

Ok, back to present day.  I call this head nurse back, and ask to switch from bypass to sleeve at the army hospital.  She informs me that I will be going from #2 to............#10 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I hem and haw, she advises me to go with the surgery that I think is right for me, not just the one that will happen sooner.  So, RELUCTANTLY, I remove myself from Gastric and #2, and onto the sleeve list at #10.  UGH.

Then I just lose it.  An entire year comes crashing down on me at once.  6 months of waiting on a non moving list.....  I am in the parking lot bawling.  I just know I won't get this surgery done for another 6 mos to a year. My husband is gone for the month, so I call him (praying he'll actually pick up) and leave a blubbering bawling message for him about what happened.  My mom was in town overnight, and she didn't pick up either.  When she calls back, she has a near heart attack thinking I'd been in an accident. 

She does her best to calm me down, and have me look on the brite side. 
I'm glad she was home though.  It's SO much worse when there's no one anywhere.
She left within the hour, but she was there when I needed her.

So, here I am.  Back to waiting.  Mom suggested I begin being proactive, and start dieting on my own.
After having journalled for 5 days, I'm sort of ready. 
I just don't know what kind of diet.  I can't exercise worth a crap due to my bum foot, and I have no money for weight watchers.  I do know the program though.

I'm soooo frustrated and beat down. 
Mom says things happen for a reason, and if I hadn't tried to switch, I wouldn't have changed my mind to the sleeve, so I guess she's right. 
I'm just ready to start my new life, you know?? 

So, here I sit, writing my tale.  I know I skipped a bunch of details, but I'll probably get to them one day. 
I do plan on posting pictures showing my progress both pre surgery diet and post surgery (if it ever happens).

Thanks for reading!!!

To Continue...

OK, so we decided to go ahead with Gastric Bypass.  This is a big deal, because if I ever brought it up for myself, or my mother for my dad, it was a touchy subject, and a big deal.  The possibilities of complications or death made it too scary to consider.  But after doing my Pro/Con list, we saw that the good outweighed the bad.  Namely: it would help my foot A LOT, it would reverse my prediabetes, and my PCOS, so I could get prego.  Oh yeah, and I'd lose weight.  I figured giving up food would be a good exchange for all that. 

So I went to my PCM (primary care physician), and he gave me a referral to have it done on post.  When having it done on post, the bariatric surgeries fall under General Surgeries.  Therefore, basically EVERYTHING gets precedence over you.  You are not an emergency, and it's an elective surgery.  Ugh, oh well, so I continued. 
I went to the Bariatric Seminar, which is mandatory for all possible candidates.  I was screened, passed all the criteria, and learned about the differences and risks and yadda yadda yadda in the lap band, vertical sleeve, and gastric bypass.
To me, the LapBand wasn't aggressive enough.  It restricted your food intake, but that was all.  The sleeve removes 7/8th's of your stomach, which restricts intake, and removes the production of the hunger hormone -ghrelin.  And lastly, the bypass seperates by staples an egg/walnut sized pouch from the rest of your stomach, and then reroutes your intestines from the pouch, to about a foot lower on the intestine tract, than it originally was.  (hence the name bypass).  This causes malabsorption, which causes MASSIVE and fast weight loss.  Because you are not absorbing most of what you eat, and you can't eat hardly anything. 

When I asked why a person would choose the sleeve over the bypass, the Colonel doctor told me that when dealing with ulcers, or gallbladder issues, its better to have your stomach there, rather than removed.  Well, that was good enough for me, and I wanted results quickly, so I got on the list for Bypass.

Well, scratch that.  I decided on bypass.  First though, I had to have a psych evaluation to prove I was sane enough and had a support system, and not an obsessive eater. 
I do have an obsessive personality, so I was really sweating this evaluation.  I got a letter from my podiatrist stating the benefits of the surgery on my foot.  I told him about my previous bouts of depression, but that I am in counselling, and it's not an issue anymore. 
The psychiatrist dude took like 5 minutes, talked at me more than to me, and then sent me to take the test.  It was a general test, and stupid questions, so he advised to not overanalyze the answers, just do what fits you most.  The 3 hour slotted appt lasted 30 mintues. here comes another conflict.  My husband gets scheduled to go to BNCO (pronounced B-Noc, Basic Non Commissioned Officer school), a 3 month stint in Virginia from June 1st- Sept 1st.  Well, I had NO clue when my surgery would be, but there was a GOOD chance it'd be in that window.  So, his commanders told him if I could get them a letter stating my surgery date, he could get out of it. 
Well, I tried, and the psych eval still hadn't gone thru.  So, I called and begged the receptionist lady to push it through.  She did, and told me, "in a year from now, I want you to look in the mirror at your new self and remember me". 
So, I get put on the list.  I am #3, and the head nurse says over and over how she can't give me any guesstimation of when I will have my surgery, because she has no idea. 
Well, it was a miracle that he was able to get out of BNOC on the potential of surgery.

So, I'm waiting.  I call back every 2 weeks to a month, and I get a hint from a nurse that surgery could be potentially 2 weeks per person on the list.  (and I'd moved to #2).  So, I am thinking and telling people "surgery this summer".  I even get "confirmation" from the head nurse that it could be July or August.

Months go by, and it becomes "August or September", then "September or October".  And as always, the Army keeps assigning my husband out, and he was scheduled to go to NTC for a month, and JRTC for a month.  Again, we're worried surgery will happen during this time, so he is able to stay on rear detail for one, but has to go to another.  And.....still no surgery.  Still #2.  Still living pre-surgery life and eating foods I will be giving up forever.  Still living in constant anticipation.

At the end of September, I finally decide to start looking into going to a civilian hospital.  A friend had just had the sleeve done there, and was in and out with the whole process in a month.  The main difference, she paid cash, I am using army insurance. 
So, I call two local hospitals, get the ins and outs, and what hoops I'd need to jump through. 
I learn that I'd basically have to start over.  I'd have to take their seminar, get my psych eval transferred over, meet with their docs, and get on the bottom of the list. 
Hospital A doesn't do the bypass, only sleeve or lap band, but could do the surgery "in the next month".  Hospital B offers bypass, but there was no chance I'd have surgery before next year.  So, I research the sleeve, and the differences, and came to the conclusion that I'd be happy with that surgery. 

I get on their pre-seminar list, fax over the psych eval, and whatever they needed. 
A month later, I go to the seminar, and am really excited.  They have openings for November, I like the surgeon, and had an appt with him the next day.
The next day I go see the surgeon (which is farther than I EVER got with the army hospital), and he assumes I am there for the lapband because of my insurance.  I say, noo...sleeve, and he is the FIRST of a dozen people to inform me that the military insurance does not cover the sleeve by civilian doctors!!!!!
WHAAAAT??!!!!!! Are you FREAKING kidding me??????

He promises to try to get it approved anyway, and "assures" me, he can make it happen, so we go ahead and schedule my Nutritionist appt too.

TBC next blog

Here We Go....

Well, Hi, and welcome to my new blog!  This is my first blogging experience, so bare with me. 
My name is Manda, and I have been trying for a year now to have weight loss surgery done, and have gone through a lovely rollercoaster, with still no results. 
Today was a particularly devastating day, so I decided I needed to vent and express myself some, and maybe someone out there would wanna hear about it, or heck, maybe even benefit from it. 

Ok, so about me: 
I am a big girl.  Ha, bet you couldn't guess that!!  I am a goof, I love to laugh and smile, though I admit, I don't always do it.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE animals of every shape and size, and have my own personal zoo at home.  (I'm sure I will be referencing them sometime).
I am an Army wife.  One of the biggest influences on this rollercoaster ride, is the military insurance and hospital. 
I love to scrapbook and make cards, and well, anything that gets my creative juices flowing.  It's an addiction, I admit, but one I love!!

Since I was about 9 maybe, I started to get chubby, and have struggled with my weight my entire life.  I have a couple contributing factors; I have PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome.
PCOS (imbalance of hormones) for me has caused weight gain, insulin resistance/pre-diabetes, infertility, and I'm sure some other lovely things, but those are the biggies.
I've also had 2 doctors now suggest I may have Lymphodema in my legs.  Joy.

I have gone on many diets many times, and was most successful about a year ago with Weight Watchers.  I lost almost 55 lbs.  I attribute a large portion of my success to my husband being deployed, because I could control what foods came into my home.  Between him coming home, and my hurting my foot, over the next year, I put it all back on.  (I'm not blaming my husband for my weight gain, its just a factor.  He can eat anything without gaining a pound, and we can only afford one set of groceries, ya know, anyways.)

Regarding hurting my foot- in summer of 2009, I was doing WW and training for their 5k challenge.  To train, I'd go to the gym, and every day I would walk the 5k as fast as I could.  Well, I already had Plantaar Fasciitus, so I wore orthodics, and had a lot of pain after being on them a while.  Then I began walk/running and one day, my foot got to hurting like it always does, and the pain never went away.  I saw a doc, and the xray showed a heel spur.  I went to a podiatrist, and he said I have a torn ligament, so I was put into a cast for 6 weeks.  I still had pain, so now he thinks its ligament and nerve damage. 
That's where the WLS (weight loss surgery) came up.  A nurse at the podiatrist shared her story with gastric bypass, and she and the doc agreed that my losing a significant amount of weight would help my foot issues. 
So, around January 2009, I made a pro/con list, talked it over with my husband and decided to pursue gastric bypass surgery. 

ok, I have a housefull of hungry animals, so I will continue in another post!