Wednesday, May 23, 2012

7 years...

Yesterday marked 7 years since my husband and I had to say goodbye to our second child, a beautiful little girl, far too soon. 7 years. My baby girl turned 7 years old in Heaven.

It was quite the emotional day, as it is every year. We rejoice in her life and knowing she is with the Lord yet as her parents our hearts ache for her. Our arms ache for her. It's a pain that no one can describe. As parents you never expect to bury your child. You expect they will outlive you. You expect to watch them smile and cry and giggle and run and dance and get married and have children and the list goes on and on. But sometimes that just doesn't happen. Sometimes those dreams and expectations come crashing down around you.

I'm not going to lie, sometimes I am angry. I look around at a world of parents that kill their children, that neglect their children, that choose their own selfish desires over their children and I get angry. I'm not angry at the Lord. I'm angry at people who take their children for granted. And yes, I am jealous. Sometimes I see a parent that treats their child like dirt and I want to smack them silly, I want to tell them of the life they are missing out on but it doesn't matter because they won't listen.

I miss my daughter. I miss her like crazy. I am so glad that some day I will be with her again. I know she is well cared for. She is cared for in a way I could never even do. But of course as a mother, my selfish desire is to have her here with ME. With her daddy and her brother and her sisters. I wonder if she would have chosen the same theme for her birthday as her twin sisters did. They chose Hello Kitty this year and had a great party with friends and their great-grandparents that came in from out of state to spend the week with them. We kept those decorations up for her birthday and we have pumpkin cheesecake and sang her happy birthday. We sent her balloons. Doing the same thing we always do for her, to remember her by, to let her know she is not forgotten. Yet still, it never feels like it's enough.

We did receive a wonderful gift yesterday. A lady named Rachel, from the town where she is buried surprised us with a picture that she had taken of Kaitlyn's gravesite, not only had she gone by but she had taken flowers and a balloon. Something most people would never even think about brought a peace to my heart and tears to my eyes. To think, someone I barely know, someone who did not know my baby girl, cared enough that she went out of her way to bless us in such a way, a way that she probably didn't even realize would mean SO much to us, to remind us that she is not forgotten as parents fear. Being on the other side of the country from where she is buried is hard on us. I know, we know, she is not there, she is really in Heaven, but going to her grave just gave me peace of mind, well it's I think that I felt closer to her there, like somehow I could be near here. It's not something I can explain. Every time someone goes by there and takes a picture of her grave, it just means the world to us...

Happy 7th Birthday my sweet little angel...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

Well here I am, officially a year out from the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. This time last year I was in intense pain and 115 lbs HEAVIER. Today I am 25 lbs below my weight loss goal and weighing in at 125-127 lbs, maintaining quite well now :)

I am still fighting my sleeve to eat and drink enough but at least I am no longer losing. After having an Upper GI and a EGD done the decision has been made. In a few weeks I will be going in for a panniculectomy, which is basically a tummy tuck to get rid of all the excess skin and while under the GI will come in and attempt to dilate the portion of my sleeve that is kinked in hopes that it sticks and I will be able to eat more again. Praying for good results on both!

Today I found out I was picked to be one of 10 finalists in the Progresso Souper You contest!! Voting is March 12th-25th. People can vote daily :) The 3 people with the most votes get round trip airfare for 2 to LA, hotel, food, car service, $1,000 cash card, $1,000 clothing card and a full on makeover for the contestants, including hair, nails, and makeup! AND the coolest part? Tickets to the live Biggest Loser Finale!! The other contestants get $100 cash card :) So either way, I'm a winner and super excited at a chance at some awesome prizes thanks to Progresso!

It has definitely been a life changing year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The restriction continues...

Generally when it's just stress my sleeve only clamps down for a few days. This time? Not so much. It's been a few weeks now and my weight has gone crazy. Down a total of 114 lbs now, weighing in at 126 lbs. Way less than I ever expected to weight. Officially in a size 2 now! Craziness.

I finally had to give in to see the doctors. The drastic weight loss 10 months post op and well below goal was concerning. My inability to eat bothered me even more.

So I had a scope done. Again. I think it was #4 or #5. Can't believe I have lost track.

We suspected a stricture, a simple thing that would have just required a balloon to expand the stricture and I could have gone on my merry way and eaten normally again.

This is not what was found though. Instead a gastric polyp was found, removed and biopsied. I have chronic gastritis and a sample was taken of that as well. Also Gastric mucosal abnormality characterized by erythema-also biopsied. Quite the name, don't ya think?

Basically my sleeve has inflammation and redness, the biopsies should show if there is something further going on, clearly something HAS to be up for me to have inflammation and redness still at 10 months out. H Pylori is suspected, the symptoms fit and the good news is that if this is what it is, strong antibiotics and continuing my PPI should clear it up. But I will not know for a few weeks which is a total bummer.

In other news, my friend Missy texted me today, telling me her mom is in kidney failure and expected to die in the next 3 days :( So PLEASE pray for Yolanda...she needs all the prayers she can get...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Sleeve is Not Always My Friend

Most of the time, my sleeve and I get along just fine. Tonight? Not so much. Of course I have a bajillion things on my mind. I was insanely busy today, I spent way more time on my feet than I normally would, I was on the go, all day today. But I could not sleep. I finally fell asleep and my sleeve decided not to cooperate and here I am after 2 hours of off and on sleep.

It will be a LONG day. My day consists of being gone all day. Which means no lazy, Sunday afternoon nap like normal.

You see, if I am stressed out my sleeve likes to clamp on down and give me a ton of restriction. Normally I can an entire string cheese for a meal (sounds lame, right? ) and this is ok with me. When stressed, I can usually eat about a 1/4-1/2 of a string cheese. It can be a wee bit scary when you know you barely eat enough anyways.

The good news is that my sleeve will chill in a few days, she is just picky at times.

She also does not appreciate when I space on my medications.

One of the drawbacks of my sleeve and the complications I had/have dealt with, is acid reflux. Something I had only suffered from in my twins pregnancy. Now? It's a normal every day part of life that exists of 2 Nexiums and 1 Zantac a day. It's not normal reflux like most people have. It's a direct result of my surgery and me being a complete freak show and NOW having a Hiatal Hernia, when most have it before and have it repaired during their WLS.

Ya see, my body likes to keep it interesting.

Stupid me, was distracted this morning and spaced on my Nexium. So I took it before we ate dinner. And then I spaced and did not take my second dose later in the evening. My bad.

In other sleeve related news, I have continued to lose weight. Craziness I tell you. I am at the point where I am (when she is happy) trying to increase my calories with more healthy fats (ok and some candy lol) to stop losing. At some point my body will be happy and just want to stop naturally but I don't think I want to know just how low it wants to go. My current weight is 134 lbs. Um yeah, I haven't weighed this since early high school, like sophmore year kind of high school. I didn't think it could happen. I actually fit into juniors sized clothing. Uh yeah. I have 4 kids and I can wear juniors! Even better? I was in a 5 juniors and I need to move down to a 3!!

Life in general is super crazy. Between homeschool and Tae Kwon Do and kickboxing (for me), cooking, cleaning, shopping, Church responsibilities, and a ton of other responsibilities we are always on the go these days.

My friend Mike I mentioned recently went home to be with the Lord. We are thankful he is no longer in pain but our hearts break for his wife and family :( The week prior to that we had an 87 year old lady go Home too. So it's also been a very emotional time for all.

I suppose that is enough rambling from this sleep deprived state....So I will leave you with the only recent (and not so flattering picture of me in a size 8 dress that is now way too big on me!) pic of the kids and I, ignore the crummy quality

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sometimes it is hard to stay positive

Praise the Lord I know He is in control...

Because sometimes it is so hard to just stay positive when watching so much illness around...

There is a lady that I love dearly. She was always like a mom to me. She is my YoYo <3 A few days ago her daughter, who was my best friend in high school, contacted me to let me know YoYo was in the hospital and the doctors thought it was cancer. And that it was affecting many organs. She has been in pain for quite awhile.

I called YoYo today, she started to cry. She said she knew something was wrong but ignored it. Today the diagnosis came back as Stage 4 metastatic liver cancer. They cannot operate. They said if anything they could do chemotherapy. For now she is still in the hospital and once she is home she will get to go see an oncologist and start figuring out what the next course of action is. Her husband, I call him RiRi, is sick too. It's a miracle he is still alive as he has been sick for as long as I have known him...

They are both fighters and I praise the Lord for that.

Then there is Mike. Mike is one of my closest friends husband. He is a trustee in our Church, he is the associate Pastors son. He loves the Lord, he loves his family, he loves his friends, he is an encouragement to all those around him right now. Mike has cancer. Mike is not doing well and was taken back to Hospice today. He is only in his 20s and losing his battle with cancer. My friend, only 28 years old, is facing a life without her husband.


Monday, October 24, 2011

From that to this

Even my hubs has changed, his braces are FINALLY off!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Small sizes don't last!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be complaining about skinny people clothes ;) Why is it that my fat clothes seemed to last FOREVER but these skinny clothes just don't last?

I am now inching towards 8 months post op. And I am still losing. Slowly. But the weight is still moving down. Since my last update I am down another 8 lbs, putting me at 142, however I flew right though an entire clothing size! Seriously. It lasted like a month, if even that.

Not long ago I was super excited to squeeze into a size 8. Two days ago I had to go buy a pair of size 4 jeans because 6s were falling off. I am now buying small shirts too. WHAT?! Craziness! Many times my husband and I discussed that I would probably be in a 6 once I had a tummy tuck. Uh yeah. If I am already in a 4, will I actually get smaller once I have the oh-so-lovely 3 c-sectioned, twin carrying gut removed?! After many complaints and dealing with issues with the plastic surgeon I am preparing to go see my surgeon again and discuss a tummy tuck with him and pray he takes sympathy on me..

It's not just an issue with vanity. I am not one of those girls that just wants to wear a bikini because frankly bikinis kind of freak me out. I don't like the idea of everyone being able to see that much skin on me, so no, you won't ever catch me in one. It's a matter of comfort and decreased pain. Looking in the mirror does gross me out. And it's not just because I was fat and have excess skin, it is actually an issue with having had 3 c-sections in 2 1/2 years. And having carried twins. You see the excess skin and of course the fat that is left there hangs over the crease from my c-section scar. I actually broke down and measured it a few days ago. The excess hangs 2 1/2 inches below my scar. When I measured around it and under it at the scar, there is actually a 3 inch different in the size of my waist.

Then there is the medical side of it, which my primary doctor is dumbfounded by this new plastic surgeon I saw, is claiming it to not be medically necessary. I cannot eat sitting upright, if I do, the fat/skin pushes up and restricts even further what I can eat. Now it's important to know how little I still eat. I am sitting around 1/4 cup of food at a time. If I sit up right like a normal person that amount is about cut in half. I have to stand or sit leaning back right now to eat. It's annoying. Then the issue with jumping. I cannot run or jump at all unless I bind my gut tightly and that is just not comfortable. If I jump up the excess flops up with me and flops down HARD. Add in back issues that cause daily every day of my life, a lack of muscle strength from the previous surgeries, and scar tissue that has caused pain, you can imagine how painful that whole jumping/running thing becomes. It's just not pleasant.

Overall I am so glad I went through with this surgery, though it didn't fix all the problems, like the sleep apnea that is just as bad now as it was before, it was still worth it, even with the complications...