Roadblock to Health

Journeyare you walking the walk to Health – January 28, 2016

It has been a little over ten weeks since my bariatric by-pass surgery. The recovery didn’t go quite as expected.  Twenty to thirty percent of people will get an infection.  The surgeon has to pull a very large tool through the bowel and it can cause an infection. Not wanting to be left out, I guess, my body decided to get an infection in a really big way.

My surgery was on November 17 2015.  I came home late on November 19th, the day before my thirty-second wedding anniversary. By Sunday, I was not doing well. Pain in the left side of my abdomen, extreme nausea, the largest incision was red hot and looking very angry. We can’t forget the rash. Oh my, it was over my entire torso. It looked bad. Late that evening I began to heave, a lot. Nothing was in my egg-sized pouch-of-a-stomach.  I struggled through Sunday and early Monday morning called the surgery clinic. They told me come in around 10:00am. I went back to bed to try and get some rest.

At 9:00 am I got up and went to the bathroom and then began to smell the worse smell I have ever encountered. I thought it was my urine. As I looked down, I saw that my incision had burst open and gross stuff was pouring out. I started gagging. I ran out of the bathroom onto the nearby back porch trying to get away from the smell. No way. The smell wasn’t in the room. The smell was me. Oh my word.

My hubby, Seth heard the commotion and came running to my aid. Bless his heart, he had no inkling of the horrible smell or sight he would see.  Between the two of us we got it bandaged up and I got dressed to go to the surgery clinic. The entire drive was awful with the smell invading our orifices. I was embarrassed, scared and in pain.

I prayed. Seth prayed. I continued to pray.

Seth drove. Seth drove quickly.

I prayed that I wouldn’t have to sit out in the waiting room. I prayed the room where I would wait would have a comfortable big chair. I could barely sit. I just wanted to lay down and stop smelling like the foulest thing you can ever imagine. I believe I now know how hell must smell.  The nurses were wonderful. They rushed me right back into the care room. The chair was big and the music playing over the speakers were all songs from the 70’s, I loved that part.  We were in that room for five hours before a bed/room was ready for me in the ICU.

My journey to health had definitely hit a major roadblock. I had no idea how far off track this journey would go.



Journey to Health – Bariatric Surgery

Journey to Health – #bariatric #surgery

Bariatric surgery is getting close. Less than a week from my surgery date. People ask me how I am feeling about it. I am so busy preparing and writing that I think I have avoided thinking about it too much. A person can really freak themselves out if they think too hard on situations that are simply out of your hands. Yes, I am making the choice to have an optional surgery.
It would be sort of nice if I wasn’t the one who had to make that decision.

The chicken inside of me would rather it have to be a mandatory situation. Although, I wouldn’t want to be in such a horrible health crisis that it was consider a critical operation. But, it would be much easier if I wasn’t the one who had to make the first step and the last step in a mile of decisions. Having the team at Fort Carson, my family and friends, and random other people encouraging me helps more than I could ever express. Thank you. Thank you. Did I mention my appreciation? Thank You!! I have extreme confidence in my surgeon, his team and all the other areas of support.

The Liver Shrinking diet before my bariatric surgery has not been awful. I have been really good about staying on it, however, I must confess I have strayed a few times. Examining those moments, I realize I was very controlled in my “cheat”. Instead of eating whatever, whenever, I chose a couple of things along the way and had a few bites of it. Just enough of a taste to get me through to the next protein meal. I don’t think I have mentioned I am not a big protein consumer.
With the Liver Shrinking Diet and the program after the surgery, protein is critical to staying healthy. I am grateful the protein can come in the form of shakes and other things besides just meat. I do enjoy a grilled steak or hamburger but not for every meal.  I am surprised I have been able to continue being faithful on this two-week diet before surgery. I have lost five pounds in the last eight days. Not too shabby.

Bariatric surgery is pretty drastic. It is not the E-ticket way to weight loss. I know I will have to dedicate myself to being focused with what I consume, exercise, taking my vitamins and plenty of water. I am looking forward to hiking. We have been in Colorado nearly nine years and I have not been hiking with my husband and son, except one little excursion years ago. That was a special day. I remember watching our son bounce from boulder to boulder, over limbs and things, and wade through icy mountain water. It was a perfect day.
As of this morning, I have written a little over 11,000 words of my 50,000. Finished my will, medical power of attorney and living will yesterday. This evening I will be seeing a therapist who will walk through this journey with me. It is my choice to do this. I suspect there will be emotions that I may need help navigating. So, as the bible says, seek wise counsel. That’s what I am doing.

If you asked me now, how I feel about the surgery I would have to reply. A bit anxious, excited, concerned about the recovery process. My mind is in a hundred places at once and several times it has caused me to be unable to focus on anything. In those situations, I step back and take a break. I pray, journal, blog, nap, read or play jigsaw puzzles on my tablet.
Many of us face challenging situations every day, some more than others. When those times come, be good to yourself. Extend the same grace to yourself as you would someone else. This morning I am focusing on who I am in Christ. I put my tiara on, raise my chin just a little higher and know who I am.
I am a Daughter of the King of all kings!