sunflowery's Diaryland Diary


They Like Me! They Really Like Me!

I AM appreciated. Yesterday I received a small award for my involvement with the United Way fundraising week. Everyone on the committee received the award. It was kind of nice to be appreciated for my work on that committee. I received a $25 gift card from anyone on this giant list of retailers and don't tell me we didn't need THAT! I am hoping to use it to buy something new for Thanksgiving.

Speaking of which, I will be at my parents' home one week from today. Yay!

Last night I had dinner with a friend of mine. She is one who I have written about before. She got married about 9 months after me and Bob and 3 months after they were married, her husband told her he didn't love her, never loved her and wanted out. Her divorce was final in August. It's so sad. This was her first marriage and she was 40 when they married. Her heart was completely broken and her life tossed in chaos, though now she is beginning to pick up the pieces and is finding peace again. Yay! We had a lovely dinner at 0live G@arden. Their chicken scampi can't be beat. Mmmmm. And I have leftovers for today. It was so nice not filling up on salad and breadsticks before the meal arrived. I did have a tiny bit of salad but no breadsticks at all. So I was ready for the dinner when it arrived and ate my fill and still had leftovers.

Did you hear that Target stores are not letting Salvation Army Kettles to be set up in front of their stores this Christmas season? I think this is a case of corporate peace making, though it comes off as looking like a David vs Golith PR nightmare. I never minded the bell ringers in front of the store. In fact, I would often make change before I got to the store so I could put a couple of bills in on my way into the store and a couple of bills in on my way out. At some stores, the bell ringers would snazz up their ringing with songs, dances, smiles and rhythm. They made it feel like Christmas. I will miss them and am going to write an email to Target headquarters to tell them so.

I got the invites for the sale in the mail yesterday! Can't wait! I bought some cotton chenille yarn last night and it's so soft. I am going to crochet them into what I will call "spa clothes". Wash clothes to pamper you. I hope the sale goes well for all involved. I hope I can leave with the money I made and not spend it all on the other goodies being sold there.

In church on Sunday there was an announcement made that there will be a women's missions trip to Mexico in 2005. Right away I was feeling lead to go. The info meeting on the trip is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we will be on the road to WI then. But I am anxious to find out more. The only thing I am NOT looking forward to is the fundraising one always has to do before heading out on missions trips. But I am so excited about this trip!

Work has been stressful the last couple of days. I don't know what is going on, but bankers were cranky and crochety the past couple of days. In fact, yesterday, so many bankers were calling in for help on how to process their paperwork and when I would tell them how to do it, they would argue with me. It's like they have all reverted back to being 13 and think the adults in their lives don't know ANYTHING! Sheesh. Hope today is better.

************************************* A Year Ago Today: 2:22 p.m. November 18, 2003 031118_93.html Getting More Answers

I dreamt I was in Germany last night. I started out being in Germany with a girlfriend of mine. We only really had about enough money to get us there and thankfully the exchange rate was phenomenal, or we would have been up a creek. We checked into our hotel…a little dive by a river and headed over to a nearby pub for our first German meal. We ended up meeting lots of people (who spoke English by the way) and had a good time. One of the weird things was the meal itself. The people told us that the traditional meal for them was one of 2 things…cake and salad or cake and a sandwich. I had cake and a salad while my traveling partner had cake and a sandwich. Yeah, I know. Then the dream changed and I was suddenly traveling with my friend from Finland. We were on a train, traveling the countryside. We got off at a quaint little roadside store. Once there, I realized I didn’t have film…for my digital camera! Yes, I bought film for my digital camera. It was in cartridge form, but different. I also realized that I did not have my passport with me. I remembered I had left it in our filing cabinet. I don’t know how I got to Germany without it, but there I was. I was hoping it was like going to Mexico where you didn’t need the passport, but I was pretty sure you did. Anyway, my alarm woke me up before I could do any more exploring in Germany. What a weird dream.

A hawk soars outside my window at work. There might be 2 of them, but I have seen one for sure. Just now there were 2 crows dodging the hawk and one of the crows completely dove at the hawk and tripped his wing. The hawk is twice as big as these crows. I guess this happens almost every day on the other side of the building. It was impressive, but I can’t help but think that crow would be a mighty fine snack for a big old hawk. Those crows are plucky. Or maybe just stupid.

So, I found the sheet of paper my doctor gave me with the list of referrals for the Gastric Bypass surgery. It looks like Unity Hospital in Fridley may be the way to go. I looked up their website and even registered for their informational meeting on the surgery. The meeting is scheduled for December 18th. Not only do they have a plethora of information on the surgery, they have a message board that I read through. I got LOTS of questions answered there. It looks like the whole process from first meeting to surgery could take as long as 6 to 9 months or longer. It also looks like my insurance company will require me to be in WW for 6 months prior to surgery before they will approve it. That’s OK I guess as the doctors require a 10% weight loss before the surgery anyway in order to increase lung capacity and elasticity. Blech. The website gave so much valuable information as well as testimonials and FAQ. It still is a lot to consider, but if all goes well, I could be post-op a year from now.

Some of the wildest info is that for the first 4 weeks post-op, I will have to be on a liquid diet. Then it’s a couple of weeks of introducing pureed food, then softer foods and finally trying regular food. They say it takes about 2 full years for the body to fully recover and find it’s own normal again. Therefore, you should not try to get pregnant or schedule any reconstructive or other surgery if possible for 2 years. Hair loss and brittle nails are a result of low protein. I will have to take supplements and can only have 700 calories max a day! Also, by the end of 2 years, I will be able to eat a whole cup of food! Wow! A whole cup!

The people on the message boards report a variety of feelings and symptoms after surgery. Some can still eat as much as they want without feeling that settled hunger feeling. Some lost hair, some can’t keep stuff down. And yet everyone praises the surgery and staff at the hospital.

There are several requirements starting with the first meeting. There is the weight loss, a physical, a psych evaluation, support groups and family support. It really is not a quick fix of fast process. There are steps the whole way and requirements before you can go to the next step. I really have a positive feeling about this after reading all this information. Here is what really inspires me, as read off of the website: Clinically Severe Obesity - What is it? This has been described as a disease of excess caloric intake stored in the form of fat. A simple means to define overweight is by the body mass index (BMI) or, weight/height squared. A BMI of 40 is roughly equivalent to 100 pounds overweight for an average adult. Persons at the highest levels can be categorized as having super/super morbid obesity. Those who suffer from this disease are in fact experiencing a condition of physiologic malfunction. The perception that their condition is solely due to acquired food habits and desires, either consciously or unconsciously, is simply not true. We definitely see genetic familiarity in patients who suffer from clinically severe obesity. Obesity has usually occurred as a result of genetic factors, a body makeup, lack of exercise and overeating. There is an expanding pool of information stating a genetic relationship and connecting multiple genetic factors with clinically severe obesity. The health implications associated with this condition can be substantial. A person's overall wellbeing is threatened by obesity-related risk factors such as: high blood pressure

• diabetes

• cardiac problems

• high cholesterol levels

• respiratory difficulties

• sleep apnea

• arthritic symptoms

• knee or joint pain

Clinically severe obese patients may experience lack of respect, danger to overall health, and employment discrimination. Many obese people suffer from low self-esteem, depression and inability to exercise. Why Consider Surgery for Obesity? Most clinically severe obese people have made numerous attempts to lose weight, but few have achieved long-term success in maintaining weight loss. Many have tried diet after diet, losing some weight and then putting it all on again usually adding a few more pounds. Research proves that clinically severe obesity is a chronic disease, and we see genetic familiarity in our patients. Other weight loss methods have a consistently high failure rate, with many patients progressing to disability or premature deaths. Non-operative treatment has been ineffective in achieving sustained weight control in 95% of the clinically severe obese. Weight loss attempts often cause a starvation syndrome as well as depression, anxiety, irritability, and preoccupation with food. There is compelling evidence that diseases related to clinically severe obese patients are reduced or delayed in those patients who have lost weight as a result of Gastric Restrictive Surgery. My BMI is 57.25!

Here is what it means:

Men Women Risk Factor

less than 20.7 less than 19.1 underweight - the lower the BMI the lower the risk

20.7 - 26.4 19.1 - 25.8 normal - very low risk

26.5 - 27.8 25.9 - 27.3 marginally overweight - some risk

27.9 - 31.1 27.4 - 32.2 overweight - moderate risk

31.2 - 45.4 32.3 - 44.8 severe overweight - high risk

greater than

45.4 greater than

44.8 morbid obesity - very high risk

So, yeah….I think this will work for me. I am going to talk to Sweet Baboo about what I read and how I’m feeling about all of this tonight. I hope he will come to the informational meeting with me. I am also going to ask for some email addresses or phone numbers of people who are 2 years or more out from their surgery to see how they are doing and what they think of it now. Would they do it all over again? Does it get easier to monitor your food intake? Do they feel more normal? More like themselves now? I am compiling my questions even as I type. Of course I will let you know how it goes.

Oh! By the way, in response to Sandy’s comments from yesterday. I totally agree and see your point of view. However, this guy is someone we love. We know he means well, but he’s definitely not taking everything into consideration. He’s coming at our weight from his own perspective and point of view and we understand that. We can cut him a huge amount of slack. Not that it still doesn’t sting a little, but we know where we are coming from and know where he is coming from and the 2 lines do not and cannot meet in the middle. We are not on the same path at all. But thanks, Sandy, for your care and your points are certainly well articulated and heartfelt!

Thanks for reading.

7:33 a.m. - Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004


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