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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What’s My Status?

Posted on February 8, 2008. Filed under: Blogging, Chicago, First Life, Real Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

(like anyone other than those who already know me care, but what the hey, it’s my blog ;-P)

Silly stuff:

I heard back from the folks at ManGlaze.com and got my mitts on a sample of their two colors (both matte, with a sorta ground diamond dust bit of sparkle to them, in black and slate grey). I gotta say, the stuff goes on well, dries quickly and so far hasn’t chipped. I’m hell on nail polish, so that’s no small feat (you should see what I do to watches). Showed it to a few of my male buddies and they were suitably impressed, intrigued and amused. I can totally see this going over well in the metrosexual/rocker/goth/artsy male and female crowd. Me, I like weird colored nail polish anyhow. And for a non-bling fashionista, I do like glittery stuff on my nails. It amuses me. So I give them high marks!

Snowy stuff:

I’ve stayed pretty much inside while Chicago’s been deluged with white stuff, wet, heavy, and fluffy dry as well as everything in between. My lovely maintenance man has shoveled and plowed the drive. I watch him bury Zippy under more. I’ll wait for a thaw to dig poor Zippy out. Lil snowy blankie on the car I guess, protects him from squirrel droppings.

Health stuff:

The blood pressure is getting better, I’m not so woozy and feel very much more myself now. I’m moving around, puttering in the apartment and doing some standing and walking now. Yea!

I’m still learning or more accurately re-learning my drinking and eating skills. About once every other day I screw up and up comes my mistake. It’s not as awful as it sounds and I rebound quickly. Let’s just say I’m chewing oatmeal and drinking fluids in tiny, bitty sips as much as I can remember to do so.

Tonight (well last night actually) I went out for my first public civilian meal with RKT, SD, and JSM to celebrate R’s b-day. The guys picked a (we thought Ethiopian, but really pan-African) restaurant called African Harambee that had nice, mildly seasoned, gooshy food, the sweet hearts that they are, so that I’d be safe. None of us had been the the place in it’s current incarnation and we were pleased with the meal.

I had something that was a spinach stew of sorts (supposedly had beef but I didn’t see any, maybe it’s a beef stock) that had chunky carrots which I ignored, and potato hunks too. I had a side of what I think of as white African polenta, think UBER white mashers but with a little more gritty texture, made out of corn meal. Also a side of a spicy lentil mash ( a bit much for my tum-tum, but it tasted great) and some oniony greens that were a bit too roughage-y for my tum yet, but yummy as well.

The guys had a variety of other tasty bits, that nifty, sour dough-y spongey pancake stuff I remember from Momma Desta’s and some lovely Spanish wine JSM brought. (they have a full bar but he wasn’t sure) Oh, African beer? Yes, Tusker beer! Didn’t have any of the beer and wine but I gotta say they both smelled wonderful.

Yes they served us tons of food, well priced, of course. Gotta love Chicago restaurants!

Oh I must mention I was able to wear a pair of pants to this gathering that I’ve NEVER worn before as they were too small, had to cut the tags off. That was a huge milestone. I’ve other outfits and pieces of clothing lying in wait for my transforming shape. I’ll not need to buy much I suspect along the way down, not that I planned it that way but hey, I’ll take advantage of it!

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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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