We Have A Date!

Posted on January 10, 2009. Filed under: First Life, Health, Real Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Ok, it’s been a while, so let me sum up (yes I’m quoting Inigo M.).

First and foremost, I’m doing well, still steadily dropping poundage, my poor, arthritic knees are feeling better most of the time, and when they’re not, it’s less of a pain (literal and figurative) than it used to be. My mobility is much better overall. It is so nice.

I’m progressively wearing clothes I’ve not worn in nearly a decade or longer (or ever in some cases), so it’s like getting a new wardrobe as I go along. Very cool stuff, that. I am, as I was warned I’d be, cold a lot of the time, less insulation and lower blood pressure equals freezing my butt off a lot. I take it as a sign of success and put on more layers. Still surprises me, but it’s not so bad it’s an issue really. Just something to note along the way.

The date. February 19th I’ll go under the knife again. Actually I just passed the year mark on the Gastric Bypass the 8th of January, so that’s cool too. For those that don’t know, the next procedure is to fix an aneurysm in my aorta, at the arch as it comes out of my heart. This was discovered in the pre-surgical testing in 2007, however at that weight, no one was willing to take the risk of doing the surgery then, but now, over 140 lbs or so lighter, I’m much less a risky proposition. As my surgeon put it, “if you’re gonna have one of these, that’s the place (of the aneurysm) to have it”. He’s done hundreds of this procedure, and is very confident that this will go well. I like him, he makes me and Pops feel pretty good about such a big deal type operation.

Yes this is a chest cracker. Yes I’m expecting the recovery to “suck hard”. Yes I’ll have a lil zipper scar down my sternum. After the last meeting with the surgeon I’m feeling much less anxiety about this than beforehand, and like the surgery last year, I’m trusting the doctor to do his job and I’m concentrating on my job, the recovery and life mgmt. afterwards. The long term stuff, that’s the hard part in my book. Besides I have enough friends and family freaking out about this for me as well. For some reason that seems to make it easier for me to be calm about it.

So that’s the big update!

My blogging instinct has been re-directed (mis-directed) to the time I spend over on Plurk (http://www.plurk.com/MadameMaracas), micro-blogging daily. If you’ve not yet heard of Plurk but have heard of Twitter (http://twitter.com/MadameMaracas), it is very similar, but threaded conversations on a timeline vs. solo posts in reverse chronological order. I’m “on” Twitter too but really I rarely watch that page, I have it so folks I know there can ping me with DM’s (Direct Messages, private, only you and the recipient can see posts).

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Knees – What IS wrong with them?

Posted on March 4, 2008. Filed under: First Life, Health, Real Life | Tags: , , , , , , |

Went to a new Dr. today, an osteo. sports medicine kinda dude that does bleeding edge knee surgeries and replacements and all that stuff.  They asked me a lotta knee history and health history questions, took some X-ray snaps of my knees and then we had a nice sit down chat.

It turns out that I’m arthritic.  Didn’t expect that.  The good news is my knees aren’t ground into little bitty shards of bone and stuff.  That’s not the difficulty.  It’s just that the cartilage is worn, unevenly, but in the expected way and I’m nearly out of cushioning on one side of each knee joint.  So they hurt, so they feel wrong, so what do we do?

Well, surgery is an option, but a last ditch, we’ve tried everything else choice.  That was my thought and his as well.  Considering he’s a surgeon, ya gotta love that he’s not pushing to slice and dice.  Nor was he keen on putting me in a brace.  First thing was he figured I’d have a cosmetic objection to it.  Hell I didn’t care about wearing braces, either time, except that they cut up my mouth and hurt like hell when being adjusted but damn I love the results!   After I made that clear, which he loved, then he pointed out that they tend to abrade the skin, and would give me sores, esp. since I’m still dealing w/some leg swelling issues.  So that part I can see.  I asked about a soft brace.  “They make nice knee warmers.”   Yes, that’s what he said. LOL

Ok, so medicines?  They kill the pain, don’t work forever and don’t fix the issue.  So where we’re gonna start, once we get insurance clearance, is an injection, once a week for 3 weeks running, of something called Euflexxa.  From the brochure it sounds like liquid cartilage and a nice grease, lube and oil job in one.   Again, a very reasonable option.

My dad found this guy on the web, he’s from the same hospital as did my surgery and yet again, great personable staff, attentive, incisive, intelligent folks in the office, top to bottom.  One of the nurses even subs in with my gastric surgeon, she was very happy to hear that he’d done my surgery (I hear nothing but knowing nods and high praise at the mention of his name).  I’m really happy that my knee isn’t bone meal and that there are non-invasive options to explore.  I kinda wish a soft brace would do something for me too, but we see how this stuff goes.

Otherwise I’m doing well, trying new foods and so far the only thing that gives me issue, other than stuff that’s too sweet is STILL carrots.  I can deal with that, been doing so all my life.  Went to the grocery store today, got a mess of stuff, but I need to go back.  I’ve been not cooking so long I need basics and seasonings and stuff still.  Bought all I thought I could carry in one trip from the car (just barely) and tomorrow I’ll go get the other 1/2 of what I need.

When most of what you consume is fluidy and soft, your groceries get very heavy very fast I must say.  Got some salmon, had the butcher cut it to size and individually wrap them for me so they’ll be fool proof.  Also I’ll give ‘nanners (bananas) a shot too.  I think I might end up blending them with some of the “canned” (it’s not in a can but same concept, just fresher) fruit and yogurt.

OH !!  We stopped for lunch before the appointment, so I had my first onion, pickle, hamburger and cheese today without incident.  Yes it was McD’s.  No bun, no ketchup (don’t usually put that on any how and it’s prolly too sweet for me), and I cut it up on a plate with fork and knife to be sure no eating errors.  All went down and stayed down just fine.  It was yummy too.  Weird ordering just the sandwich, no fries and no beloved Diet Coke.  Took me twice as long as Pops to eat just my burger as it did for him w/fries and soda.  This stuff still cracks me up, but it is good.  I feel pretty confident that my tummy will twinge if I shouldn’t eat something even before I get it in my mouth and so far, that’s been the rule.

If anyone had told me this would be this easy or smooth before surgery, frankly I’d not have believed them.  I suspect my case may be very, very atypical.  Nothing I read about Gastric Bypass showed the patients dealing with stuff this easily.  My only issue is the occasional chewing (or lack of sufficient)  error.  That and my knees, which hopefully will begin to be resolved and I can get my meteoric weight loss rolling along again.  I’m still losing but much much much slower I think than to be expected with proper exercise.  Soon.

All in all, it’s very good news and a yet continued bright outlook.  Yea the proverbial shoe may drop, but until then I”ll enjoy it as it is.

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RL update

Posted on January 27, 2008. Filed under: family, First Life, Friends, Health, Real Life | Tags: , , , , |

I’ve been home now a little over a week, and other than having my blood pressure get a little too low the previous 3 days, I’ve been great.  I seem to be past the woozy and can get on with building up my stamina and doing my “walkies” in the building hallway.  It’s too darn cold, icy and Chicago-in-January-like outside for me right now, so my long hallway in the building will provide a safe, dull walking space.

Before anyone gets all panicky, I’ve seen the Dr.s even while I was having a woozy attack and they did tests and checked me out and such so we know what it is and what it isn’t and it’s being addressed.  They’re pleased with my progress otherwise, as I’m about 28 lbs lighter than I was on the morning of the 8th walking in for surgery.

I’m still rarely hungry, only able to “eat” about 4 oz. of gooshy food once or twice a day.  Takes me about an hour to eat it.  It really is as advertised, not hungry, and rapid weight loss.  My big challenge these days is getting enough water in me (part of the woozy issue), whereas before surgery I was very much a water chuggin’ girl, now it’s tough to get more than maybe 20 oz. in me a day.  I have to sip it, about a teaspoon at a time, all day long.  Also if I take my meds, or chewable vitamins, that feels like a full tummy so I have to wait.  And no drinking 30 min before or after OR during “meals”, so that’s about 2 hours of no drinking there.  It’s a race of mini-sips, mini-nibbles and meds all day long.  Keeps me occupied I guess lol.

As much reading and preparing as I did for this procedure, there is no way I would have anticipated major surgery to NOT be a huge hassle.  Honestly, this has been much easier than I would have ever managed to believe.  It also appears that I’m doing better than average for recovery too, overall.  I was able to sit up much longer than expected the first day, and sat for hours the 2nd when I think they were expecting 20 min or so.  I’m stubborn!  Well it is also that right after surgery, if I wasn’t moving it didn’t hurt. So sitting still was just fine.  Later on, that got to be sore too, I think as my guts re arranged to their new configuration and also as I went off the pain medication pump to every 4 hours or so.

Now I’ve not taken pain meds in a week, not even Tylenol.  My only discomfort is the tape on my healing boo-boos.  It itches and pulls.  I figure in about 2 or 3 days I should be tape free.  I can hardly wait!  My tummy is patchy from glue and tape irritation, the bitty incisions are healing well and flattening out pretty much.  Two of the drain-holes might end up a bit puckered, but I can live with that.  Not like I’m gonna go parading around in a bikini.  And if I do, I’ll not care, those are earned scars, just like the ones on my knees, elbows and hands.  They tell the tale of how I got here and now.

So that’s the update, blah blah blah.  Again, my friend and family, near and far-flung across the globe, have been fabulous, supportive and caring.  Thank you is such an inadequate phrase but I truly am thankful!

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    • MadameMaracas is heartbroken, so terribly devastated, the surgeon, Dr. Alan Yasko, that gave me my brand new knee this winter, died of a pulmonary embolism. August 24, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas Happy Birthday MatthewAnthony ! May your day be filled with joy and the coming year only get better, day by day! August 22, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas Sorry for the neglect folks, I'm moving to a new facility today, we see what kinda connectivity I have there, if at all. August 20, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Lost connectivity, possibly for an hour or so for the seeming midnight reset. I am fine, full of dilaulid, feeling no pain. no pai August 19, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Getting ready for surgery today, slated to be carved open @ about 11.30am. Pops & Marissa are here taking great care of me. <via phone> August 16, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas you're a big ole pussy cat, need to out go out in a ball love and feeling, generating more with time. August 14, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Been standing up, turning to sit in a chair, short, shuffling steps! NO THIGH PAIN! <via phone> August 12, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Packing room up atm, waiting for transport to surgery w/ Pops & Marissa. Marissa will update here.. <via phone> August 9, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says I have been moved to a different room on the same floor. A single room. ping 4 new # <via phone> August 7, 2010 MadameMaracas
    • MadameMaracas says Guess who just spent an hour out of her room NOT for tests, feeling more normal than in over a month? <via phone> August 6, 2010 MadameMaracas

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