Monday, March 31, 2008

Home again...

We got back last week, but if I have not been stuck at work, running errands or on my bike, I have been sleeping... seriously. I just don't know how to party anymore. One night in NJ I went to see my friend's band play and didn't get home until 3:15 am. I had 2 hours to sleep until we took the kids into NYC for the Ringling Brothers' Circus. I haven't caught up on sleep since! Don't mistake me though... it was all well worth it. But man, I can't "hang" any more. I'll never make it as a "cougar" in my 40's. LOL

I could get into the whole "how-comfortable-my-plane-ride-was" or the "I-was-not-invisible-to-others", but I don't want to bore you. Nevertheless, each time I experience one of these moments it remids me to work on being "aware" as the real me surfaces and the illusion of the old me vanishes.

Overall the trip was great. I had a good time and it was drama free. My Sister and I got along fine, which was nice. I was only sad we didn't get to spend some more time together. Cassie had a great time visiting with her cousins and I loved watching them play. Here they are... my Cassie is on the left, Amber (my oldest niece) is in the center and Hopie on the right. All my princesses at the play land.

Now I'm home and it's back to business. Between the Gall Bladder surgery and vacation I'm a month behind in MS150 training, but I'm not giving up.

A friend and I went out on Saturday and hit the hills of Huntsville, TX. I had no "granny" gears on my bike (I kept losing my chain each time I shifted), therefore I had to claw my way to the top of each hill. That part stunk, but at least I got in about 35 miles of real hills. At about 35 miles my legs just gave out on me just as I was heading into the steepest part of the hill. It was like lifting a weight to the point of failure; you feel fine, you don't expect it, then it just happens... or in this case, it doesn't.

To double the saddle time and get my a$ used to the seat again, we went out again on Sunday, locally, for another 35 miles. That first 30 seconds on the seat again made me see stars! Oiy!!

Dropped my bike off at the shop for a tune-up, bought some new tires and a couple other necessary biking accessories for the MS150 (the team discount comes in handy) and I'd be lying if I didn't admit I am somewhat excited (scared too) that the MS150 is fast approaching.

Next weekend I will ride 60 miles on Saturday and then 60 miles in the Space Race on Sunday. The MS150 is the following weekend, which is 80 miles each day for 2 days. It will be a challenge.

As for today my little prima-ballerina is having her recital photos taken. :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Once a Jersey Girl... Always a Jersey Girl

Cassie and I made it to NJ last Thursday and so far the visit has been great. My niece had a birthday party on Sunday and my Daughter has been having a blast getting reacquainted with her cousins.

Last night was a "moment" for me in that I actually took my Mother's tap class. There are 2 long-time students of hers, from 17+ years ago that just come in and kick around a bit. Now, I've tapped since I moved to Texas, but it was more for fun and movement... not to really get better. I have to say that I surprised myself (and my Mom a little) that my feet could actually still do it! It felt really good. I wasn't perfect, by far, but I had tons of fun. This is something I would have never done before the progress made post-RNY. I wish I would have gotten some pictures! LOL Or maybe I should be glad I didn't!

Today I'm taking my Daughter and my Nieces to see the Easter Bunny for the obligatory holiday photo. We'll go get some dinner afterwards. Mom and Sis have rehearsals with their competition kids, so I'll keep the wee-ones occupied.

Yesterday I had the chance to have lunch with some old friends of mine. It was great to see them and have the opportunity to catch up. Strange to me how some people just seem to stay the same quirky (for lack of the right word) people they were when they were younger; kind of like they just don't ever fully mature. Eh... what do I know. Regardless the visit was nice. Tomorrow I get to visit with some other friends for lunch... I'm just makin' this the Tour de Jersey. :)

On Friday night I am invited to sing with my old Choir Director's choir. He directs at a different church now, but still does some of the pieces I love, Rutter's Requiem is no exception. Even though it's been 12 years since I've sang the piece, but I'm taking him up on his invite. :)

Later on Friday night one of my best friends (and maid of honor) is singing with a band at a club, so I will be heading there to hear them sing. It's country music -- the band is "The Whiskey Girls".

On Saturday we're going to the Ringling Brothers circus. I'm so excited to take Cassie because it's one of those good childhood memories I can recall.

Just a quick vacation update; will be back in town on Monday. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lab Follow-up and Choppers

In short, everything was acceptably abnormal. In some cases, my numbers don't even look like they belong to a post-op bypass patient -- so good for me! The letter I got is "standard" procedure. The only thing Doc is giving me is a once a month D3 vitamin, and wants me to take sub lingual B12. I go back in 3 months for a follow-up.

I'm less than 10 lbs. away from my -100 mark. So close... I can taste it. He says that he'd like to see me under 200 before I come back in June. That's my goal... and it's obtainable.

We're also going to do a Dexascan -- I'm excited. I want to see the difference in body composition.

Oh... I got my implants and bonding done! I have a whole new smile. I literally started crying when I first looked at them!

Crappy picture ... but here's my new smile!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Follow-up on my GB


No exercising, other than walking until March 14th. Being on vacation from the 13th to the 24th without a bike is really cutting into my MS150 training time. :(

I need to listen -- even though it is not what I want to hear. Doc says that there are sutures underneath my main incision and that if I overdo it, I could cause a hernia.

I said, "No biking?"
He said, "No."

I said, "No running?"
He said, "No."

I said, "No lifting or kick boxing or punching bag?"
He said, "No, and before you as, no sky-diving either."

He said, "The body takes 21 days to heal, it's a biological process."

Then 21 days of waiting it is. Although he did say I could walk. Whoooopie! ;-)

I asked him about my labs; he says I shouldn't worry that even with my HDL being low, that my overall cholesterol at 128 is awesome, and you don't see that everyday. He said, "My cholesterol isn't even that low!"

He aslo seems to think that my pregnancy, and not my RNY, might have possibly caused my gall bladder to go bad. During my pregnancy the hormone imbalances of involved are known for this. He said my GB was huge, had a very thin wall and was covered in "cholesterosis" (cholesterol deposits) which leaves your gall bladder looking like a strawberry.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Matter of Record

Though my surgeon is retired, I got a full copy of my medical records. It appears that on ALL my post-op labs my HDL has been low (though the overall Cholesterol were within ranges, i.e. tri's and LDL). My B6 levels were even high. My follow-up visits were always with the surgeon's office.

I was never told anything negative -- I was always told that "everything is normal." Silly me for not asking to see the labs in writing and asking questions.

My guess is that it all is not really a big deal. My PCP called back to tell me that my Gall Bladder had no impact on the labs, despite the blood being drawn before it was taken. I see him on Monday and I'll find out just how abnormal, "abnormal" really is.

I trust him. I always have... he'll be straight up.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Just Like a Ton of Bricks

"If you can recognize illusion as illusion it dissolves. The recognition of illusion is also ending. Its survival depends on your mistaking it for reality. In the seeing of who you are not, the reality of who you are emerges by itself." Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

One day my thought perception will change, and I will not fear (so much) becoming who it is I am.

Post-op Labs

My labs came back. Admittedly, I fully expected everything to be normal -- they always are!

This time, not so normal, so I'm a little concerned. I'm frustrated.

Lymphs (Relative) were high at 49. The range is (14 - 46)
Total Cholesterol is 128 (awesome, right?) The range is 100 - 199
Triglycerides, 74 (awesome again) The range is 0 - 149
Vitamin D, 25 Hydoxy was low at 27. The range is 32 - 100
Vitamin B6 was high (not good!) at 43.7. The range is 2.0 - 32.8
Vitamin B1 was high (also not good!) at 85.9. The range is 25 - 75
Methylmalonic Acid was also high at 618. The range is 73 - 376

Doc wants me to come in with all my Vitamins. :(

Chewable Muli
Chewable Calcium Citrate
Biotin (a B)
Fish Oil
Flax Oil

He's concerned about my low HDL, elevated Methylmalonic Acid, B6 and low Vitamin D

I don't get it -- why is it that some people who don't give a rat's ass when it comes to taking care of themselves post-op, seem to fly through without issue?. 16 months later I still eat right, journal my food and take all my vitamins and exercise more than moderately, regularly!

Damnit it pisses me off. I guess it is all part of post-op life. I just thought if I followed the rules, that I would be fine.

My hope is that these labs ae off, because they were taken while I stil had the diseased gall bladder and was suffering the effects of it the week before it was removed. I'm hoping the low HDL can be corrected by taking my supps again; I had cancelled out of my diet everything that had fat (good or bad) because of the gall bladder stuff.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Favorite Finds: Soy Slendar

Okay, I love this stuff, "Soy Slender" by West Soy. I found it a few years ago, kinda got off it, but became reaqainted with it. :)

Soy Slender comes Plain, Vanilla, Chocolate and Cappucino flavors. I have never tried the plain, but the Vanilla, Chocolate and Cappucino flavors are tasty. It's best served chilled and it has lighter taste not heavy. And I don't experience that "soy film" in my mouth as much with this, as I do with other brands of soy milk.

I just wish it didn't have any artificial sweetner in it. One day I wil get off of Splenda totally, but for now a little here and there isn't harmful to my overall goals.

Here's the nutritional content for the Chocolate:

I also like that it has 4 grams of fiber per serving, which is always helpful these days to reach my fiber goals of 25 g/day. Typically I used it with my protein shakes when I'd use an unflavored protein powder like MLo Soy Protein (which is pretty good stuff too!)

Well, I have a pre-schooler who wants to go ride her bike (who am I to deny her!). I think I'm going to dust off my roller-blades today before the weather gets bad.

That reminds me... how cool is it that my kid asked her Daddy, "Daddy can we go to the gym today?" She wanted to go and exercise! :)

Seriously, last thing... I get the my implants (dental!) on the 11th. I am stoked and will be smiling ear-to-ear when they are finished! I had to start using the whiteing trays so they can match the implants and bonding materials. What a difference! Not only is my smile brighter, but it's nice to be less self-conscious about it. I have a sense of humor and love to joke around -- what a gift to be able to laugh freely!