sunflowery's Diaryland Diary

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Just Call Me Saggy Baggy Girl

The baby shower for my co-worker was a huge success. We had 2 different kinds of chili with all the fixins and a yummy cake. And PRESENTS! My co-worker was thrilled. We found out that this will be the only shower she will have. She is the youngest in her family and the only girl, but for some reason, her family has decided not to throw her a shower. And it's not like she and her husband are made of money. He lost his job about 10 months ago and has been working part time gigs to make ends meet ever since. At the shower we threw her, she got her carseat, crib mattress, backpack baby bag, and lots of other baby items. I think they have a nice start and we had a lot of fun.

I slept crappily last night. I was so tired by 10 and just about fell into bed. But for some reason, once I got there, I had a hard time falling asleep and then I kept waking up, having dreams and nightmares, and just generally did not sleep well. I debated even going to work today because I am so beat and dragging, but I have lots to do and if I stayed home it wouldn't get done and I'd just have to add what I didn't do today to all I have to do on Monday.

Thanksgiving weekend is just 2 weeks away and I can't wait! Whee! I am going back to my hometown for a long holiday weekend visit. Should be fun.

I have lost enough weight now that my skin is beginning to be loose and saggy. It's not pretty. Also, the skin on my face and neck is all saggy. I hate gravity. And my husband was all worried that I would lose my large breasts with the weight loss and I have to say I haven't lost the largeness of them, but they have lost their bouancy. Now they just hang like droopy windsocks. It's so not attractive. Thank God for clothing and supportive undergarments!

Not a lot going on for us this weekend. We have alter team at church on Sunday and then the Big Border Battle between the Vikings and Packers. Of course, we're not expecting much since they're playing at Lambeau AND we're playing without Moss...but you never know. Go VIKES! *************************************** A Year Ago Today...Give Or Take A Few: November 12, 2003 Ah Cahn Tawk Gud Wite 'Ow

Yesterday was all about venting. Could you not tell? This morning is all about getting the Novacaine out of my system so I can talk like a normal human being again. I was in the dentist chair at 8am and out the door with the mush mouth by 8:20. Itís now 9:30 and the Novacaine is still going strong! Blech. I really, really like my dentist. He is a super nice guy and father of 6 children. I told him he should host an open house for all his patients so we can all actually get a chance to chat with him. Itís hard to ask your dentist what his plans are for the holidays when you have 5 dental implements plus his hands in your mouth all at the same time. I wonder how it feels for such a nice man to work at a job where no one really wants to be seen? I mean I like my dentist and all, but I donít really want to be sitting in his chair at 8am having him fill the holes in my teeth, you know? Anyway, thatís done and I donít have to go back for 6 months.

Yesterday was actually a good day at work. It was Veterans Day (Thank you Vets for all you have done to keep this country free.) so we were really slow. I think I took less than 12 calls all day and I think all my calls came from MN and WI, so they must be the only banks that were open. Unfortunately, one Twin Cities bank was robbed yesterday as the employees came to work. Would have been better for them to have observed the bank holiday, huh?

Sweet Baboo and I had a difficult talk last night. We havenít been going to church and heís been missing a little bit of school and most of his work study because he doesnít feel up to going. There's also the issue of mobility, but thatís been a recent problem. Weíve been missing church long before SB got his chair.

I told him that I donít even like to wake him up on Sunday mornings for church anymore because Iím afraid of ending up disappointed or angry with him for not wanting to go. Itís just easier to not set the alarm and sleep in than wake up, try to wake him and then end up not going anyway.

The interesting thing is that we were asked to be part of our church's alter team. We really feel called to do this, but are never there to tell the team leader that we would be honored to take on that responsibility. Also, since we are never there, we canít minister, can we?

The other thing I told SB is that I am disappointed in him missing school and work study. It hurts me because he talks about the day when I won't have to be the one working. The day when he will be working and I can stay home with the kids we will be raising. I told him I donít see that day coming because if he doesnít meet his obligations with this work study program, he won't be able to go to ministry training school anymore. He is essentially throwing away this amazing gift and is not looking towards the future.

We had a long and difficult talk about it. He saw what I was saying and apologized and prayed. He is just so sad and so depressed and struggling with so many aspects of this disability, he would rather stay in bed most days than do anything else. I understand that. I have days just like that. But I canít stay in bed. Right now it is my job that supports us. My benefits that get us healthcare and vacation time. I canít just stay home and stay in bed no matter how tired, how sad, or how sore I might be. Itís true that I donít understand the pain and discomfort he is experiencing. Itís also true that he has not had a regular night's sleep in who knows how long. But donít tell me that I won't always have to be the one towing the line at work if you are not doing something about changing that.

I donít mind working. I donít. I like my job and I love my co-workers. But this is not where I envisioned myself. I want to be the mom. I want to be at home with kids. I want to proceed with adoption and stay home and minister to my family.

SB's schooling is already coming in handy. Heís been ministering to our neighbors and his co-workers. He has been using what he is learning in school to reach out to them. He truly cares and it shows. He is the perfect candidate for ministry. His heart of compassion is so large and he is so kind. Even when he goes to see his friend at the nursing home, he ends up ministering to so many more people there. I donít think he sees it...but I do. I just wish there was something that would motivate him...rev him up that this is the path to his future.

Maybe Iím wrong. Maybe Itís not what he is supposed to do. But I donít see anything else coming his way right now. He was told he could go to school for no cost as long as he put in 40 hours of work study a semester. Itís almost the close of the semester and I think heís put in less than 6 hours so far. He is going to lose this amazing opportunity and if he does, I will have to hear about how he messed up again. How everything he touches falls apart. How he ruins everything. Itís not true, but he seems to believe it...and at this point, lives it. Itís almost like he is purposely sabatoging himself. If he messes it up, he canít fail. I donít know, maybe Thatís not it at all. All I know is that if I have to work to support us the rest of our lives, fine. I can live with that. What I canít live with is the hope that it will someday change if nothing is being done to change it.

SB knows all of this. Itís been said and now Itís done. I am not one to harp and nag and bitch. Itís not up to me anymore. Itís up to him. My job now is to pray for him and let God work. To do spiritual battle against an unseen foe. Thatís no small task.

I Can Feel My Lips!

I feel like writing today. Itís almost 11:30 and I can JUST feel the Novocaine wearing off. Itís nice to be able to feel my lips again.

Right now it is raining at a 45 degree angle. It is so windy outside that the rain looks slanted. Itís raining really hard and the temps are falling. As I typed that last sentence, the rain turned to snow. So now itís snowing sideways. Itís snowing so fast that it looks like millions of little white moths flying to earth at 100 mph! So, the roads are wet from the rain and now Itís windy and snowing. Great weather today. Itís about polar opposite from yesterday which was sunny and 60. Itís always said in MN, "If you donít like the weather, wait a minute."

If you want some insight into how my husband is feeling...check out his journal at: http://robertall4one.diaryland.com.

Thanks!

November 13, 2003: Sweet Baboo is on the Moooooove!

Sweet Baboo got his answer from Metro Mobility! He meets the criteria to use their services so now he cango places with his chair! Yay! It costs a fraction of riding the regular buses and at the end of this year all the Metro buses are supposed to be handicapped accessible, so he can ride those for $.50 each way! He is so excited! This is BIG! He sat and read through their folder for a long time.

On the other hand, the cool, cool walker he has is all but useless. Itís too short for him. Itís on the tallest setting and itís still too short. So I will have to call his therapist and the medical supply company to see if there is another option. What a bummer.

Sweet Baboo is LOVING school. He said he is learning so much about God and who He is and what His heart is towards His people. We spent some time last night working on a paper of his and it was fun. I would read a chapter or two from the Bible and then he would repeat to me what he gleaned from that chapter. It was a fun exercise and so beneficial in so many ways. 1.) We were reading the Word together. 2.) We were communicating about what we learned and believed. 3.) We were reminding each other about the character of God. It was awesome.

Last night SB met me at work and followed me to the Hyundai dealer where we bought my car. There was a recall on some issue regarding the breaks on my car, and I had made a 7am appt to have it fixed. Rather than get up at the crack of dawn, we decided it would be better to drive it out last night, drop it off and come home. Then SB could drive me to work the next day on his way to his appointment with his respitory doctor.

Anyway, we got to the dealer and found out that they were still open despite the promenantly displayed signs to the contrary. Itís hard not to see a sign that says HOURS 7am to 6pm and think you are out of luck service-wise. But no, they were still hopping at 7:30pm. The guy said they could fix the problem that night and could we come back in 60 minutes? We could! We went and grabbed a quick dinner and were back to find my car all ready to go. So, SB followed me back in his truck and now the car issue is fixed with none of the annoying early rising, service waiting room trauma. Yay!

There's a new kid on the block to Diaryland. His name is Dangerspouse and heís funny! I read through his archieves last night and found we have several things in common. He lives in New Jersey and is a radio "news guy". I once lived in New Jersey and was also a radio news person. He was a Sophomore in high school in 1983...so was I! (83/84). Heís been married for 2 years and so have I. Really, the similarities end there. Heís of Sicilian decent and has 3 or 4 sisters. Heís into motorbike racing and owns a Corgi and relaxes by playing Playstation. So, really the differences outweigh the similarities, but itís still fun to find another radio news person. Read him and see.

I had a weird dream last night. Iím not sure if I remember enough to tell it properly, but what I remember has me feeling vaguely uneasy.

I dreamt that I was in High School again. But I was olderÖas were all the ďkidsĒ. Like we were all in our late 20ís, but were all in high school. I was trying to change my clothes but was scared of being made fun of, so I was trying to find a private spot to change. There was a group of girls that were cruelly making fun of me. I found an empty room and was about to change my clothes when 2 of the girls who made fun of me walked in. Apparently, it was their room. Their dorm room. So now, we had dorm rooms in high school. Whatever. I said I had not touched anything but was just looking for a private place to change. They got all angry and hostile and began to berate and belittle me. They said they were going to call security and have me arrested for trespassing. I kept saying I didnít know the room belonged to them, I just needed a place to change. They began to tease me because I wouldnít change where all the other girls change. I ran out crying. The whole dream was me going about my day trying to stay out of the way of these girls. At the end of the day when I went out to the parking lot to find my car, all I wanted to do was get away without them spotting me. I felt fearful and hated myself. I woke up with that icky feeling, though thankful that I donít have to go through that every day. There was more to the dream but I only remember fragments and it doesnít make a lot of sense. There was surfing and waves and some kind of assembly. And thatís about all I remember about the rest. I just hated how those girls had each other and I had no one and as a group I was sooooo scared of them. OH! I do remember too that one of the girls who picked on me had previously been a good friend of mine. I remember trying to talk to her and to get her to see that I was still the same person she had been friends with before, but she wouldnít have anything to do with me. The hurt I felt from that slight was great. I hate when dreams are so real.

In the 3+ months that Iíve worked at Big Bank Co, the view outside my window has changed dramatically. My first month here, everything was green. Green trees, green grass, green, green, green. The next month was a burst of autumnal color. Reds, Oranges, Yellows, and Browns. This month? Bare and Brown all around. Soon everything will be covered and coated in white and it will stay that way for far longer than I care to think about right now.

We changed internet service providers. When I bought my very first home computer 4 or five years ago, it came with a deep discount if I signed a 3 year contract with a particular internet service provider. Needing internet service, I did so. Before my 3 year contract was up, said internet service provider sold themselves to a national ISP that upped our costs a mere $5.00/month. Once our contract was up, we stayed with them more out of laziness than anything. However, one day I was bouncing around the internet and found a local ISP that provided the same exact service for far, far less. I called my ISP to cancel my contract with them. Now, we were paying about $22/month for their service. The new, local ISP is only going to cost us $8.25. But when I asked for our service to be cancelled with large conglomerate ISP, they said they could lower our monthly payment to $10/month. How is this possible? Do you mean to tell me that all I had to do to get cheaper internet service was to call my big conglomerate ISP and ask them for cheaper rates? All this time? I still canceled with them. I figure itís better to be local. Local reps, local techs, local help and local numbers. All for over a dollar a month cheaper than big conglomerate was willing to go down to! Whoo hoo! We are cutting costs, scrimping, and saving. I also cancelled my Curves membership. No longer do I have to feel guilty paying that bill every month when I havenít even darkened their door. Ahhhh. It feels so good!

For some reason today I fell Christmassy. This could be scary. Last year we put our Christmas decorations up around this time of year. I canít remember exactly when, but it was before Thanksgiving. I have been trying to hold off on that kind of early seasonal trimming, but I may have to give in and set it all up this weekend. Itís only 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. Itís not like Iím putting up our Christmas tree on Labor Day or anything. I guess I will talk to Sweet Baboo and see how heís feeling about it. Then we will improvise this weekend and see how we feel. I just LOVE Christmas and decorating. I love the music, the smells, and the twinkle lights. Itís even better when there is freshly fallen snow. Mmmmmm. And I LOVE the whole meaning behind the seasonÖitís the beginning of the birth Christianity through the birth of a little baby boy. Yay Christmas!

Where did this year go? It feels like we JUST celebrated Christmas with SBís family here at the apartment. Like we JUST decorated and then undecorated. Like we JUST welcomed in the brand spanking New Year of 2003. Man, it all goes by so fast!

Thanks for reading.

November 13, 2003: Reflections on Job Performance

Can you tell Iím bored and have lots of things going on in my head today?

I've been thinking about my what I do at my job. I like my job here at Big Bank Co. I am basically a customer service rep for our bankers who sell annuities. When they have questions about the annuities they are selling, they call me to help them. I work in a call center and I deal with the public all day every day.

When I left Bankers to come to this job, my old boss CM asked me if I would be working with the public at my new job and made it sound like he thought I would be less than successful. That really hurt. I did my best at Bankers. However, the administrator position there is a really difficult one. You have to juggle responsibilities between answering the phones and handling policyholders, dealing with pushy agents and their immediate needs, and doing things for your boss that he is supposed to be doing but doesnít know how to do, so he palms them off on you. (Is that the world's longest sentence or what?) Sometimes I would have to do all those things at once. If I were on the phone with a policyholder, CM would come in my office and stand there until I put the customer on hold so I could deal with him. Other agents followed his lead.

Itís true that I would get anxious while working there. And itís true that my anxiety came out in the tone of my voice. But I was always helpful and always willing to go the extra mile to help whomever I was dealing with at the moment. I just donít do well with multi-tasking or with a lot of people ganging up on me and telling me they all need me to do something NOW. Not to mention that CM's wife SM was a yeller/screamer and I SO didnít do well with that. I NEVER got used to it even though I knew that was just her way of doing things.

Here at Big Bank Co, I still have to multi-task, but it was made clear that calls come first. I have a clear directive. And Iím not the only one taking calls. And Iím not the only one a banker can count on for the right answer. If I donít know an answer, there are several people I can go to for help. Also, I was sent to a training class on telephone etiquette and how Big Bank Co wants their customer service handled. Itís not stuff I had never heard of or learned before, but itís so nice having an actual plan and following it.

At Bankers...I often felt like it was just up to me. When I went to CM or SM with a question or a problem, they would tell me it wasnít their job and to find someone who knew what to do. If a customer was angry and wanted to speak to a manager, they would pretend to not be there so I would have to deal with the problem. I never felt like they had my back or cared about how things were handled, unless they were handled incorrectly. But how did I know something was incorrect? I was never trained. I was tossed into my job with a little bit of training by another office's administrator. She trained me as to how she did things. There wasnít a corporate model per se, so it was just each to their own until someone made a stink.

I like it here at Big Bank Co because there is training. (Not a lot though...there is still some of that sink or swim stuff where they just toss you into the fray and see how you do.) There is the feeling that someone has your back and can answer your questions. There is care...in the form of materials, space, free coffe, tea, hot chocolate, water, and cheap soda. There are awesome benefits and opportunities. There is the sense of teamwork.

Now I donít know if this is the case with every department at Big Bank Co. I just know that is the case here. I like my job and I am doing well here, despite CM's thoughts to the contrary. Why do I let myself even linger on what it felt like when he shot me down? Iím not sure. But I wish he could see how well Iím doing and how much I DONíT miss working for him.

So, Sweet Baboo went to see his respitory doctor yesterday. I guess their meeting lasted for an hour. The Dr. said that SB still has some breathing weakness but that he is MUCH improved since the spring. He restated (just in case we didnít know) that SB was one sick young lad this spring. He also said that he is not surprised that SB is not sleeping well, has a lot of pain, is depressed, and gets easily overwhelmed and fatigued. He said all of this feeds into all of this. He also said that SB is better using his chair as much as possible because at this point, when he walks, he is just tearing down the muscles he does have at a much faster level. His biggest suggestion was that SB try to get into some kind of routine. That he should try to go bed at the same time every night, get up at the same time every morning and try his hardest not to sleep at all during the day. It was all good adviceÖmuch of it resembled everything Iíve been saying to SB lo these past few months. I guess when it comes from a nice, laid back physician it means more. The doc wants to see SB again in 4 months for a re-check. SB is also going to see his original neurologist in December and is actually looking forward to that visit. Sheís the doc who diagnosed this hideous disease but she is also the doc who broke the news calmly and knowledgably with dignity and kindness. It will be interesting to get her take on how much he has degenerated since he last saw her. He feels better now that he is seeing doctors he knows have had experience with neuro-muscular disorders.

Sweet Baboo is using Metro Mobility for the first time today! Yay! Our neighbor Becky called and asked to borrow our truck today. (We loan it to her whenever we donít need it in exchange for her garage space in the underground parking area.) Becky needed it because she needed to go grocery shopping and to the pharmacy. Well, it turns out that those were SBís plans too. So they went together and as thanks, she invited him to join her and her son at a movie this afternoon. Since her son Nathan is in a wheelchair too, they are having Metro Mobility come and pick them up. SB called MM and they said he could ride with them too. So, heís on his way to see the new Looney Toons flick. I canít wait to see how it went.

WowÖtoday seems to be the saga of Sweet Baboo! On his way home from the docís yesterday, something flew into his windshield and dinged it. I called our insurance company and we have full coverage on glass. So I called Noble Glass and they are coming out Monday to replace SBís windshield. We canít be too careful. He is precious cargo.

Finally, on to other things. Today is payday and as per our agreement, SB put some cash into his checkbook ledger, labeled just for me. I put that same amount in my ledger and am able to do with it what I wish. So far Iíve only taken out a little sum of money. But itís nice to have it.

Last night there was a story on the news about a couple here in the Twin Cities who had the gastric bypass surgery together. The guy had weighed 300lbs or more since his sophomore year of high school! They showed the whole before thing, the surgery and 2 months after. Both of them have already lost 40lbs and 4 sizes. It was really very interesting. They said that this surgery has exploded in the Twin Cities. Since 1998 the number of gastric bypass surgeries performed has quadrupled. They also said that the nationally, 3 out of every 1000 patients dies! (Except in IowaÖwhere more than 6 died this year alone in some town there.) SB and I had a very frank and in-depth discussion about this. He knows Iíve been thinking and praying about it for the last 3 or 4 years. He also knows that I have been seriously considering it for the past year and a half, even going so far as to get a referral from my physician. There is a hospital here in the Cities that has perfected the surgery and does so many that they have built a whole gastric bypass wing. Of course thatís the hospital my doctor recommended.

There is so much to consider. You have to weigh your mortality rate with obesity against the risks of the surgery. So far I have no signs of diabetes or high blood pressure or heart disease. But my doctor says that at my weight and age, itís not a matter of ifÖbut when. Then, SB and I talked about our desires for kids. If I had the surgery, I would not be able to get pregnant for 2 years because bodies take that long to heal and get regular after the surgery. ButÖon the other hand, I havenít gotten pregnant yet and even if I did, it wouldnít be that healthy either because I couldnít carry all the weight I have now plus pregnancy weight. I was told I would be in the high risk category. The good news there is that I would finally be able to keep up with a youngíun if I had the surgery and lost the weight. Anyway, all of this to say that I am still thinking long and hard about having the surgery. I have a lot of questions and concerns and itís not something I just thought would be fun to do. Iíve been seriously researching and looking into this for several years now. All the while, trying to take the weight off myself, and always failing and adding more. I donít consider it a quick fix or the easy way out. I consider it a tool to help me lose the weight that has been holding me back. It is a tool that will teach me to eat small portions and take supplements and have more energy so I can exercise.

I am basically ďthereĒ when it comes to deciding whether or not to have the surgery. I just have to think about when and then here is the whole long list of stuff I want to talk about to doctors and others who have had the surgery:

A.) I have heard your hair falls out. Is this true? My hair is the one feature I really like about myself and find I have a sort of vanity about it. I donít want to lose it.

B.) How long is the recovery time?

C.) What can I expect before, during and after?

D.) What is my prognosis for my senior years with such a tiny stomach and the loss of the ability to eat larger meals? I meanÖwill my life expectancy change for the better?

E.) What if I canít keep anything down afterwards?

F.) Is there a support group in the Cities for others who have had this done?

G.) Does everyone have good things to say about this? What are the negatives? What are the downsides?

H.) Will I lose protein? Is that a supplement Iíll have to take as well as the Bís? What else will I have to replenish or change in order to stay on the healthy side of life?

I.) Is there food/drinks I will have to avoid? If so, what?

J.) Is there a recommended menu? Will I feel hungry all the time like I do now or will that finally be gone?

K.) What kind of follow-up is there?

L.) What about pregnancy? Is it really off limits now?

M.) How long is the surgery and the hospital stay?

N.) Will the doctors do a complete work up before hand to see if I am a good candidate for this? Or will they just load me in, cut me open and sew me up because itís a fast way to make a buck?

See what I mean? Iím not saying this is something I am going to do tomorrow. There is still a lot for me to consider and get answers for before I will go ahead with it. I really want feedback from people who HAVE ACTUALLY gone through with it. Iíve heard the horror stories of friends of friends who have had it and read the websights of the people who have had it and hate it. But I want to talk to real people who did it and are far along in their progress. I want to know what they think. Would they do it again if they had it to do over? Was it really right for them? Are there things they hate? Things they love? I have an inquiring mind and I want to know. I think before 2004 is over I will have finally made up my mind one way or the other and if I decide to go the way of the surgery, I will have done it or will have scheduled it.

Thanks for reading.

6:25 a.m. - Friday, Nov. 12, 2004
2 comments

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