Thursday, February 28, 2008


I had registered for the Gator Ride this weekend, 43 miles. No riding for me though; doctor won't clear me for it. All I can do is walk. No lifting for another 2 weeks, so I am not in training right now. Ugh! I'm hoping to be cleared for riding after my post-op visit on the 6th.

With just 40-something days left until the MS150, I need saddle time!

Other than that, I am just working 6 hour days and going home early. It's really the only time I get solid rest since I don't have to worry about anyone but me for a few hours.

Cassie and I head off to New Jersey in March for 10 days. I am excited to be going home. I'm just praying we get some snow, for Cassie's sake; I would love for her to experience it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gall Bladder Gone - Check!

Went to see the surgeon on Thursday; had the GB removed on Friday!

It was uneventful, which is good when it comes to surgery. The only comment they had was that, "it was huge" (my gall bladder, that is).

The surgery center was very good. I loved the staff there. It was strange walking myself into the OR though. I'm used to being rolled in on a stretcher. The club music was playing and I was making jokes about it not being fair that they were going to "knock me out and then start partying." Then I hoped that removing my gall bladder would bring closer to my goal weight.

The last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist asking me how I enjoyed my life now after the bypass, and how I was somewhat surprised it took so long for my GB to fail. He said, "you're very lucky.... Dr. B is a gifted surgeon." That was all I remember.

Took them a while to release me -- I couldn't "void" on deman for a couple hours. That was frustrating.

Recovery has been consistent. I did way too much on Sunday and paid for it. I went back to work on Monday and Tuesday; I worked 6 hours each day. Today I'm actually wearing regular pants -- I'm a little uncomfy, but nothing unmanageable. My boss told me it was a testament to my health that I got back to work so fast. I do feel good... just slow to sit, stand and bend over.

Just a reminder, here comes my shameless plug, I need donations for the MS150. I've got $225 in donations now, but need $175 more to actually ride -- it's a $400 minimum just to ride. the $5K I mentioned is just an individual team goal.

Please help me reach my goal (so I can have the pleasure of riding 152.2 miles in 2 days) and make donations to the MS Society and the MS150by clicking on my e-donate link

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Will You Help?

This year I have decided to train for the 2008 MS-150 Bike Tour! I will be riding as part of the NASA’s “Mission Control” team. This will be my first year participating and hope it is just the first of many to come.

I would like to be able to count on you to help me reach my fundraising goals. Some of you, already, are my biggest supporters of all my seemingly crazy efforts and I whole-heartedly appreciate everything you’ve done to help! The challenges continue and I hope to raise a total of $5000 for the fight against MS – I have my work cut out for me.

Saturday, April 12th we will depart the greater Houston area and forge the rolling hills to La Grange. On Sunday, April 13th we’ll continue riding, appreciating and traditional Texas scenery (and the fact we have the physical ability to ride!) on route to Austin. We will ride a total of 150 (151.2, but who’s counting?) miles in two days time.

Personally, I have undergone changes in my own life that now allow me to live my life fully and with vitality. I do not take for granted (nor ever will!) the fact I am physically able to participate in an event such as this, because someone suffering with accelerated forms of MS could not conceive of this kind of challenge. I ride in the name of those surviving each day with MS, as well as those who have passed but who still inspire us to pay it forward.

Not only does participating in this event help fund finding a cure for MS, but it also helps me be a better role-model for my Daughter in the way of teaching her to give charitably of time and effort, not to mention exercising for general health and overall well being – it’s a win-win for everyone!!!

Can I count on you for a pledge to help raise both money and awareness for MS? Please pledge through my donor page (use the email address dtoleratmerfishdotcom), or remit a check, made payable to NMSS and send to me (contact me for the address). Remember, your pledge is tax deductible and no amount is too small. Every penny adds up!

Lastly, here’s something motivating… we are not lifetimes from finding a cure for this disease; the National MS Society believes a cure will be found IN OUR LIFETIME! And that’s HUGE!

Thanks for supporting our efforts in the MS 150 Bike Tour and for joining the fight against MS!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bye, Bye, Gall Bladder, Bye, Bye!

Okay, it's confirmed. My Gall Bladder has bit the dust. A week ago this past Sunday I went to the ER after having a little grilled hamburger. I had never been in so much pain.

The pain was in my lower right back, so I never suspected my Gall Bladder. The ER did a CT Scan and found sludge in my Gall Bladder.

I contacted my PCP and he, always being the voice of reason, said "no one's taking anyone's Gall Bladder out without the proper tests." So I went yesterday. I failed the HIDAscan miserably.

First, the Boost shake they gave me to drink was lactose free, but it still had 20 grams of sugar. I knew it was going to make me sick -- not to mention the fat content. I asked the tech how long after I ingest the shake do I have to stay on the scanner -- he said, "42 minutes, exactly." I though, okay maybe I can do it without getting sick.

With 18 minutes to go I had a Gall Bladder attack. With 8 minutes to go, I started foaming. I was freakin' the tech out, spitting up the clear foamy goodness that only bypass post-ops get to experience. YUM!

Anyway where my gall bladder's function shoul dhave been -30, mines was +30. This prompted a call from my PCP around 5:30 last night, "Ready to have that gall bladder out?" Whatever you say.

I go see a surgeon tomorrow and hopefuly it will be history shortly. Ironically enough, I think it's been failing for years. This dull back pain, I thought, was always a result of the gym. I even had a nurse tell me that it was, "probably peri-menopause." Now I realize it must have been from the yo-yo dieting in my past, and the wls procedure just exasberated it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Always love... not just on the holiday. <3

When I got married, we didn't drive right into getting our wedding pictures. They were nice enough, but didn't "Wow" us. We married in October, I got pregnant in December and then we were saving for a house. The pictures were not a priority.

The photographer recently sold me my negatives (cheap!) and I had them scanned and I created a book at My Publisher.com This 11 x 15 leatherbound book was my valentine's day gift to my Husband. It made our not-so-hot pictures, actually come out nice! Of course I can't look at the pictures of me... I think I was 270-280 lbs. in these pictures -- but of course it's a celebration of our love and I shouldn't let my weight in these pictures overshadow that fact.

As for my Cass-a-frass, she was ready for the holiday as if it was Christmas morning. She has a party today at school and was just so excited this morning... For your fashion review (keep it to yourself if it ain't nice) is my Daughter's V-day ensemble, picked all on her own... right down to her red and pink barrettes :)

Posing with Daddy's chocolates!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Prayers for Uncle Eugene...

On a sad note, I found out that my Uncle has passed-away. His neighbors noticed the newspapers building up outside and called the police. It's not known yet how long he had been dead, but they believe his passing was natural. Of course we hope his passing was peaceful too.

This particular Uncle was always known for his eccentricity. Grandma always said that after the war, he was never the same. He lead his life the way he wanted. He traveled around and visited family, usually unexpectedly, and was happy as a loner. His eccentricities made him endearing to us kids, and I remember always being more excited than my Parents when he'd pop in unexpectedly. It's probably 25 years or more since I saw him last, but I can still smile when I think of him.

Hopefully he'll bring a handful of Astro Pops with him to the "pearly gates"... certainly can't hurt and it always worked on us kids!

To Uncle Eugene... Although I'd like to laugh and say that even your arrival to Heaven was unexpected, I'm sure God needed a new angel on board and that you are welcomed with open arms. Rest in peace.

So long Uncle Eugene. You will be missed and always remembered fondly.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Where, oh where did my gall bladder's function go... oh where, oh where can it be?

15 months out and my gall bladder goes bad? it took long enough; I thought I was in the clear!

I went to the ER last night with some severe back pain. I really thought that maybe I had hurt myself at the gym doing stiff legged dead lifts or maybe even when I did my one rep max on the chest press. I lived with the pain coming and going for 4 days - I have a pretty high threshold for pain.

But on Sunday I knew that something was not right. We went to Galveston Island for the day and I started with some fruit -- I had some pineapple which is pretty acidic... I started hurting no long after that. At lunch, I allowed myself to have one of the grilled cheese burgers we were making. I had about 3/4th of it... then the pain set in. I was hurting from about 3pm until 10pm that night. At 5:30, I took myself to the ER.

Because the pain was in my lower right back, I didn't even think about my gall bladder. They did an x-ray and CT. The CT showed the "sludge in my gall bladder". They referred me to a surgeon... just like that.

I called my PCP today, and he said we need to run more tests to be sure, but I have the symptoms indicating such. We'll see what comes down the road.

Other than that.. the scale is still moving. And sounds strange, but I"m glad to know something was wrong and that I was in tune with my body, as opposed to there being nothing wrong. I started to think I was whimping out on myself!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ugh! On the Upswing... I think

Okay, I think I'm on the upswing of this cold. I'm still going to train tonight, which might be a mistake, but I'm extremely motivated because the scale is still moving. I can't believe how much just making a slight difference macronutrient ratios could make. I'm very pleased.

Tomorrow I go in to get the abuttments to receive the temporary crowns for my 6 dental implants. I'm so excited to have teeth in the back of my mouth again -- I'll have to learn to chew my food all over again! I am not excited, however, over having to pay for it.

Like I tell my Cass-a-frass, "It's a have-to." :)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sick as a Dog

My darling preschooler decided to share her cold with me. I started headed downhill on Thursday. After Friday night's training session I just plummeted. I was kind of bummed because I had planned to ride with a new cycling club on Saturday morning... well, new to me anyway. They've been around.

So far the food plan is going great. It really re-enforces what a TOOL my pouch really is. There is no way that I could have 1200 or so calories satisfy me pre-op. Right now we're focusing on the macronutrient ratios and tweaking them, and the scale is moving the right way.

Fredy is more than confident we will my goal of 207 by mid-March. I'm soooo close. I know that if you add up all my weight loss that it is more than 120 lbs, but I want to have lost 100 lbs post-op. I know in the big picture it is really insignificant just to be able to "say" it, but it's for my mind -- not to boast.

In my training session, which was cut a little short because of the "food" talk. I got to do chest press. After having done 4 sets of the barbell chest press I was able to squeak out 1 at 125 lbs.!!! that' s awesome. Next week I get to start doing some boxing style moves... I'm excited.

No only if this damn cold would pass.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Shakin' in Up!

Okay, so my trainer has shaken up the way I eat. He's changed the ratios of protein, fat and carbs. In addition to my change to doing my cardio midday (I leave work to go to the gym now), it seems things are moving. I won't get my hopes up yet, Let's just say we're off to a great start.

I was focusing on 50% protein, 25% carbs and 25% good fat. He has me at just over 62.5% Protein, 33% Carbs and 4.5% fat. I still supplement my diet with Biotin, Flax Seed Oil, Fish Oil, Calcium and a Multivitamin. He introduced me to a new protein as well, which is really pretty good. NutritionPro v90. I like the "Vanilla Ice Cream" flavor. The addition of the late night snack is new to me too -- Tuna and Grapefruit? Oiy!

The food plan is pretty bland right now, but I'm giving it everything I've got to follow exactly what he says. I'm eating the same thing everyday right now (ugh!), but that will change after a week or 2.

I'm training with him 2 days a week, and lifting a third day on my own.

I'm doing Cardio 5 days a week. On the days I life, I only walk. All other days I do 15 minutes of waling and 15 minutes of High Intensity Intervals. I reached an all-time high running speed this week of 6.7 mph. Of course I couldn't do more than a minute, but I've always been afraid to run that fast.

Things seem to be heading in the right direction, so we'll see what another week will bring.