Thursday, October 10, 2013

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

~ William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Zion Canyon, a photo I took on a stormy day in October 2012

VSG 5-month Update

Hello Everyone!
I thought I'd write a 5-month VSG update because...........................................................
I HAVE MADE IT TO ONEderland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  72 lbs lost and I'm now 198! WOOHOO!
This JUST happened so I am excited about it :-)

Shrinking me! Pictures from April, early August, and the end of September!
So, I've lost 72 lbs and I still would like to lose about 30 more....
I'm keeping watch on my neck to see if it becomes goosey and I'm also watching how my skin is sagging in some spots. I exercise, but I have a feeling that even with strenuous and regular programming, the tone may never be regained even if stronger muscles are developed. Under my arms will probably remain flabby. I've decided to see how it goes for a year or more after I'm done losing and then re-evaluate and decide whether or not I want anything done about the extra skin. It's my descision and as I do with many things, I'll deliberate before moving forward.
I've gone from a size 24 (and sometimes 26) to a size 18 and can feel some of the clothes I bought in September becoming lose already. I saw an awesome red and black velvety pair of snazzy pants last week and went ahead and bought them for when I am a 16.
A couple of people seem rather shocked at my weight loss even though they've seen me relatively often throughout the process. I'd be shocked too. Some have said "oh gosh, you shouldn't lose any more" and my response was "I'm still over 200 lbs"....followed by more shock :-) About 12-13 years ago, I made it down to 193 and before that, it was around 1994-8 that I was under that. I don't really feel very different except occasionally I feel "lighter" and walk "lighter".

I have noticed the following:

- People say I smile more. I'm actually not smiling more, it's just that my cheeks aren't so fat now and they can actually move the way they're supposed to
- One flight of steps is easier. The rest are the same crappy steps and asthmatic process
- I can cross my legs again. I LOVE this and I had missed it
- I have less padding so my butt sometimes hurts from sitting
- I always got cold in air conditioning, but now, outside heat bothers me a bit less - Y A Y ! ! !
- I still don't like eating in the morning and my sleeve doesn't seem to hold as much then....
- I do at least make an effort to eat breakfast though - and eat yoghurt voluntarily
- Airplane seats. HALLELUJAH, I CAN FIT!
- Stupid mini cans I used to make fun of are my friend when I want a Coke
- I seem to be able to wear more than just flat shoes again, YAY
- I can sit on the sofa with my legs curled up much easier now.
- I've actually packed my lunch like I used to do when I first began teaching HS in 1995. It's actually not a bad experience and when I have a bag full of tiny containers and snacks, I feel like a kid and it's rather fun :-)
- I can get a bag of things like mini Snickers or Peppermint Patties and be satisfied with ONE. That my friends, is a miracle. You might have noticed I'm drinking Coke and eating chocolate....and that won't stop....ever. I will not live in denial. This surgery has given me what I needed: portion CONTROL. The rest of what I eat is mostly healthy.

That's it for now :-) Soon, hopefully tomorrow, I'll finish my posts about hair loss and exactly what I'm eating these days! Certainly, I could NEVER have done this much weight loss, 72 lbs, without the aid of having a sleeve gastrectomy. I also certainly could NEVER have had the procedure done if I had not found ENDOBARIATRIC and Dr. ALVAREZ. He has been so helpful and encouraging!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sasha Kitty (1996-2013)

I haven't really been able to write about this until now.....many reasons, but mostly it just makes me very sad :-(
My dear little Sasha kitty, my companion for 17 years, died on September 4th. I miss her like crazy. I came back from teaching in Innsbruck and she had lost a great deal of weight and was anemic. She had been experiencing increasing signs of CRF both before and after my long trip, but her numbers were not "that bad". She recovered rapidly from the anemia, but then wasn't eating and was losing weight more and more over the next weeks. The vet was able to diagnose her, but treatment was going to be ongoing and hard. The weekend before she died, I really thought she was going to pass away at home, but she rallied and then stopped eating completely. She spent a few days having dry heaves and some misery with that, but was mostly ok otherwise. It seemed like she'd be ok if she ate something, but she did not and I said goodbye to her on a Wednesday.

She was the BEST CAT EVER and so sweet!!!!! She was smart, silly, lazy, hilarious, and would take care of me every time I was sick. She would also respond every time I talked to her....either by meowing or by flicking her tale if she didn't want to meow or acknowledge she heard me. She also had three favorite toys:
The Wicked Witch of the West, a little Snoopy which I have had since I was a little girl, and a monkey :-) In my old apartment, she used to meow while carrying them in her mount and bouncing down the stairs - so funny! Once, I came home to find the Wicked Witch under my bed....all except for her legs sticking out as in the Wizard of Oz!
Sasha would always manage to find my black pants and sit on them, practicing her Olympic shedding. Sasha even made the news a couple of times over the years :-)
Sasha kitty makes the news for hiding from the New Orleans heat!
I have several  short videos that I made over the years. Here is a simple collage, made last year -

Maybe one day I'll get another kitty or a dog, but for now, I just can't. Rest in Peace, dear Sasha kitty. I will always love you dearly.
Sasha kitty enjoying a sunbeam