Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hey Hey - sorry I have been absent for a few days (11/28/2010)

It has been a few days since I last checked in, and for that I apologize. My weight loss continues, as of today 1/28/2010, I am at 242 pounds, down 106 pounds in 3 months (10/22/2009 surgery date). I have returned to a somewhat regular diet, but I still have not recovered my taste for beef. I miss a good rare steak, but if it were set before me I would not eat it. Yesterday I went to lunch with a colleague and we ate at a Mexican restaurant. I ordered the lunch special (burrito, taco, tamale) – he asked ‘can you eat all that?” I responded that, no, I could not. But one thing I had to get over was that I could NOT eat ‘all that’, but be satisfied with what I could eat and not feel bad about leaving half of the meal or more. No doggie bag, no leftovers, no guilt. Eat what I want, then push the plate away. It is harder than it sounds, not because4 I am hungry, but because I feel guilty for NOT eating it all.

Since I was here last I bought a new (to me) car – a 2007 BMW Z4, picture attached. Her name is sTella II. Stella I was my 1990 BMW 750iL, and Stella II is quite the scooter! I had to travel to Luxury Motors in Chicago to picker up, lots of pics are here and here. I also spent a great day of fun with some coworkers and friends at the golf course, pics of that outing are here.

I’m working hard to get my daily protein in, eat more solid food, and NOT have a reoccurrence of the pain I had on 11/29 and 01/02/2010 (coincidence that those two dates were also holidays?) Dr. Richard prescribed Reglan for 30 days and has me continuing the Protonix, so far so good. I promise to be more prompt!

I had been thinking about a nice “I Love Me’ present for once I reached my weight goal, but I went ahead, 30 pounds early, and found the right car. Bridgette (step daughter) and her husband RJ and baby Jon live in Sugarland TX and are without a car, and they really need a car – so I am shipping my 1989 BMW 325iS (“Booger “) to them now that my 2007 BMW Z4 – Stella – is here! But Stella was in Chicago and Luxury wanted $600 to ship her to me. I found one-way plane tickets from ATL to O’Hare for $114, so Laurie and I took off on 01/22/2010 and we spent the weekend in Chicago, picked Stella up on Monday, and drove back to Atlanta – in the snow! 754 miles, we got as far as Bowling Green, KY before we had to stop for the night. Then up at 4am and finished the journey home before noon on 01/26. What an adventure!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Matt Dusk in concert @ The Hoover Library Theater in Birmingham, AL January 15, 16, 17 2010

Laurie and I saw Matt Dusk perform this weekend at the Library Theater in Birmingham AL. The show was amazing. The theater is actually in a library. Very intimate setting. Matt sang for about 2 hrs and the trio with him were amazing. These four guys absolutely pounded the tunes out. The crowd was mostly a “subscription” crowd – you know the pitch where the local arts organization brings in groups or plays several times a year and you can buy six or ten shows for a flat rate. Most had no idea who Matt Dusk was, but at the end of the evening they were on their feet. Afterwards Matt mingled with the crowd and a good time was had by all. What really made this fun is that Matt and his trio were staying at The Wyndham Hotel - and were even on the same floor we were. As Laurie and I were getting on the elevator at the hotel after the concert, who should get on with us but Matt Dusk and his trio! They were not only staying at The Wynfrey in Birmingham, but on the same floor we were! I ran into Matt today - early - he was on his way out to run - and he came in our room and chatted with us, and even sang a few bars of Laurie's favorite song off his new album "Good News". I bought two of his CD's from him and he autographed them "To Laurie". pics are on my facebook page as well as my flickr page.

FOX TV used to have a series called "Casino", which was a reality-based show about, tada! - a casino - and the lounge singer was Matt Dusk. I really like his Sinatra-esque style and his powerful voice. There is a good bio on his home page, and a good review here. Having met him now I realize that he is just as genuine as he seems on stage - young, energetic, and hungry to "make it" big time. I hope he gets his shot!

As for food, I think Laurie and I have come to realize that we could really share a meal and both do fine. I went to McDonalds one morning and drank lots of coffee, but the next mornings I went to the restaurant at the hotel - Shula's - they had a wonderful fruit plate (for $8) and it was alot quieter than the McDonalds and also let Laurie sleep in a bit. On Sunday morning I paid for the buffet for $2.50 more - and got all the fruit I wanted as well as a custom-made omelet and juices. Dr. Richard had asked me if I was back to eating fruit yet, and I can now say, enthusiastically, "yes!". I did carry protein powder with me and mixed it with chocolate milk from McDonalds, and kept my vitamins up. So far, so good! For dinner on our final night we went to "Sweet Bones Alabama", a BBQ joint. I ordered the rib and brisket plate, Laurie got pulled pork, and each of us ate about half. We did split a peanut cheese cake for desert, and between the two of us we ate about half. Even tonight at Longhorn's in honor of Laurie's Mom, Shirley, we both ordered a 7-Pepper sirloin salad - and then each ate about half. No desert for me!

I feel good, bought two pair of work slacks and a pair of Levis - with 40inch waist! (down from a 46). Laurie bought me a real nice sport shirt, too - an XL! (down from a 3XL). I still have 38 pounds to go, so not gonna go out and get a new wardrobe - at least not right now :o)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

100 pounds down! Onederland! January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010. 100 pounds down! In the WLS family, this milestone is considered “Onederland”. 38 pounds to go. I am 12 weeks post-op today. (Lap RNY on 10/22/2009. (“Lap” means Laparoscopically done, “RNY” means Roux-EnY method of gastric bypass surgery. Check out this link for more details. There is a video of a RNY procedure if you are really interested and not too squeamish!)

This week has been especially hectic at work as we have our database vendor in-house for a periodic checkup on our environment. This means very little time at my desk as we are in meetings and presentations, but still the work has to get done! My day yesterday went from 6am to 5:30pm, and when I got home about 7:30, I just collapsed in the bed. And here I am for day 2! I do get tomorrow off as I was on call last week; Laurie and I are off to Birmingham AL for the weekend to see Matt Dusk in concert and wander around. We’ve been to Cancun many times, but never Birmingham!

The vendor folks did take us out for a very nice lunch yesterday, and I had a Pollo Especial fajita, but of course did not indulge in the tortillas at all. There were six shrimp on the platter, with a chicken breast, Mexican sausage and grilled onions and peppers. I was surprised at how really tasty the entire offering was, but I ate only what I felt comfortable eating: all six shrimp  some of the chicken, and all of the onions, peppers, and cheese. I worried a bit about the last part as it was pretty greasy, but I had a great afternoon – other than having to work 3 hours late! For dinner I stopped at Jason’s Deli and got Laurie a tuna croissant and a cup of chili; I got a bowl of their wonderful seafood gumbo, but when I got home I ate 2 spoonfuls and just felt like that was enough. I did save the rest!

I was so tired that I was in bed before 8pm, and again arose at 4am for another day with the vendors. This is not as big an ordeal as I am making it out to be. The vendor brought along their expert in the database field – she is considered the top expert in this field worldwide. It was as if Paula Dean had showed up to a cooking class at a local community school! We stayed as late as possible just to learn everything I could from her – the hours spent yesterday probably taught me more than I have learned in this field in the past 10 years. And she offered to come back every few months for ½ day sessions if we would like her to! How cool is that?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday 01/10/2009 - 15 Bean Soup

I was oncall this week and that means I was up alot early this morning performing maintenane to my corporate databases at LexisNexis. During that time I took on a project - fix 15 Bean Soup. I bought a 3-pack of ham hocks and the bag of soup beans(Hambeeens brand). Soak the beans in water for 8 hrs, add the hock(s), onion, garlic, and chicken bouillion, cook 2 more hrs, taste. Cook 15 more minutes. Very tasty! And good for you - a 1/2 cup serving of cooked beans has 1G fat, 8G protein, just 1G sugar, 20G carbs.

My maintenance work went well, I caught up alot on the stuff stored on the DVR (less tivoanxiety!), and feel pretty dang good.

Yesterday Courtney and the boys came over early as their water pipes had frozen and she needed some clean bottles and a load or two of clothes done. I took pics of the grandkids having a good time. See the link above.

I have a post-ER checkup with Dr. Richard in the morning, 9am. Everything since the New Years eve weekend ER visit has been going well, I am taking the Reglan 4x a day as prescribed, and eating a more solid food diet. Here is to better days!

Next weekend Laurie and I are off to Birmingham, AL for the weekend to see one of my favorite crooners, Matt Dusk, perform at The Library Theater. We are staying at The Wynfrey hotel and very much looking forward to the "break". Then March 9 it is off for our 2-weeks in Cancun. Busy times ahead.

Friday, January 8, 2010

This has been a good week. I bought myself two new pairs of shoes for my birthday, and their eccentric styles is driving my wife crazy! I’ve been eating ‘regular’ food, though staying away from breads, beef, anything fried. I’ve been working through my protein issues, working in the new Greek yogurt offerings – like Chobani – which has14G in a single serving. It is a bit more expensive than the traditional yogurts, it works for me! I’ve also been able to mix the powdered protein in with milk as I describe in a few posts ago.
We had our first snow and icy weather of the year this morning. I was able to get to work, unlike many others in my department. Some of my peers have very treacherous drives with the windy roads and all. Better to be safe!
I’ve got lots of pics on my Flick page; before and after pics and all. Have a great weekend! I am oncall :o(

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1/6/2010 - I'm 51 years old today

Down 92 pounds since this entire journey started, nine weeks post-op. Doing well at the moment, ate good today, had the innards of 2 McDonalds mini-wrap grilled chicken thingies - the chucken and cheese and ranch dresssing were good - and solid food. Had black beans and rice for dinner, got my protein down with 2 Nesquick Banana milk drinks (16 oz total). And on Wed 1/6/1959 I will be 51 years old. Life has just begun!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Oops, I did it again... New Years Eve and weekend

New Years Eve brought another instance of intense abdominal pain, similar to what I had at Thanksgiving. That evening my father, brother, and I went to see Avatar at the IMAX 3D showing at the Mall of Georgia. What a movie. 3D is definitely come of age.
After the movie we went our separate ways. I stopped at The Green Tea Restaurant and got two sushi rolls to go. When I got home, let Koko out, and was eating the sushi, I could tell that something was going on with my stomach. I didn’t even finish the second sushi roll. I worked very hard to get my fluids and protein in that day, and completing that task went to bed early (Laurie was back in Sugarland, TX for a few days as Bridgette and RJ decided to get married on New Years Eve).

I suffered through Friday 1/1/10 taking periodic doses of the Lortab elixir, and the drug did give me some relief, but within a few hours the pain returned. Laurie was returning at noon on Sat 1/2/2009, and I was determined to get through this without having to have a repeat to the E.R.

I called Dr. Richard at 8am that Saturday and spoke with him (he was oncall) and he said to do what I thought was best – he was indeed oncall at the hospital and I could come in through the ER. He first asked several questions: was I passing gas (yes), was I drinking (yes, at the time I was still able to keep water down). I left for the airport at noon and picked Laurie up and got her home, then took off for the ER. The pain had not let up any, and might have been somewhat worse.

Upon my arrival at the NE Ga Hospital ER, I was quickly seen and given a bed in the ER. The ER doc, Dr. Freeman, came in and assessed me and ordered an XRay which was promptly taken. Dr. Richard did come by an acknowledged that I was there and ordered a CatScan, but first ordered me some Dilaudid and something for nausea. Once the nurse administered the Dilaudid, it was like a ‘whoosh’, and the pain disappeared. I was completely pain free (and quite drugged up).

Dr. Freeman came back in and said that they did see a possible blockage of my intestines and were going to admit me, which I kinda figured. I called Laurie and told her of my predicament, but insisted she stay home and wait for more word from me there. I saw Dr. Richard again and he described his concerns to me – he said it looked like my residual remaining stomach and the bypassed section of intestine were inflamed and possibly not draining properly at the junction with the “Y” part of the Roux-en-Y procedure. I was whisked to a room (6704), given more meds, and slept peacefully and pain free.

Sunday IU awoke and Dr. Richard said that he would “probably” release me if I had an uneventful day, but that he could see some additional surgery in my near future. Either my “Y” portion was kinking during these painful episodes, or the Y itself was not draining properly – and the related hernia that I had repaired over 15 years ago might be part of the problem, too. So he wants to watch me for a while and let the weight loss continue (I was at 258lb today, 1/4/2010). He would like to see me lose more weight prior to the surgery, but wants to ‘fix it’ quickly so I do not have any further painful episodes.
And he wrote me a prescription for the Dilaudid in pill form and for Reglan, which from the info on the internet should help ease things up on my gut – and help reduce the inflammation in my old stomach and related intestinal run. I return to see Dr. Richard on Monday 1/11/2010 at 9am for a follow-up. I’ll know more then!