Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Met With the Surgeon

This is going to be a more personal blog, with no arts or crafts, so feel free to skip it if you like.

About 2 years ago now I started looking into the possibility of getting gastric bypass Roux n Y surgery.  For 2 years I've fluctuated between thinking I need it and not wanting it, to wanting it desperately to hating the idea.  Back and forth, back and forth.

 I have never had surgery since my tonsils were removed when I was about 3 or 4 years old, and I can remember my time in the hospital back then, believe it or not.  The surgery was OK...I just remember being asked if I could count to 10, and to prove it, I counted and was out by the time I reached 5.  I woke up with a sore throat and was treated with lots of juice and popsicles. 

I remember my Mom was terrified to leave me overnight and asked one of the older girls in the children's ward to look after me.  I remember the play room and the awful wooden potties; we were expected to just pee out in the open, right in the playroom, in front of the other kids, and I cried so hard the nurse yelled at me and phoned my Mom. My Mom couldn't calm me down so they had to take me to the real toilet and were not pleased, lol.

So fast forward almost 50 years (I'm 52), and I am coming closer toward the surgery I've been so iffy about.  Part of the problem was that I was afraid to get excited about it because I was sure I had too many problems to get approval.  I have severe, chronic asthma, and several anxiety disorders.  In the past, I've suffered from acute clinical depression and used to be under the care of a psychiatrist and psychologist.  I was no longer seeing my psychologist; I'd graduated out of therapy, lol, and my psychiatrist was retiring.  He was actually the one who supported my getting the surgery when I asked him about it.  He said I'd feel better mentally; would have increased self esteem, and reduced depression.  He said many of his patients have had it and all have done so much better, not only physically, but mentally as well.  But because I live in the North, by the time I got to the part where I needed a psych clearance, my psychiatrist was on his literal last day in the office.  He had already sent in the forms but they'd not recieved them, so he had to do it all over again. But then that was OK; one hurdle over with.

The next main problem was my asthma specialist up and disappeared for almost a whole year.  Nobody knew where he was but rumors abounded.  One nurse told me he'd been arrested for drinking and driving and had left town altogether; others said he was ill, others said he'd taken a leave of absence. It took so long to get someone that Sudbury (the clinic doing my pre-op stuff) said I'd have to get all new blood work and go to orientation in Sudbury again if I didn't get an OK soon.  Luckily, my Doctor was able to get me in to see a visiting asthma specialist, but this guy didn't want to believe I had asthma so made me go in 3 times to meet with him and gave me tests to trigger my asthma, to prove I had asthma.  Then he called me in and said, "I have bad news.  You have asthma." I said, "No freaking kidding.  I know I have asthma; I've had it all my life."  By the time he sent in his OK, it was too late and I had to get all of the blood work done again, and go for the orientation in Sudbury again as well.  So I did that. Then my blood work came back and my Vitamin D levels were so low that they couldn't go forward until they came up significantly.  It took 8 months.  I was ready to quit, believing so many things were going wrong that it must mean I should't get surgery.  Plus, twice my car refused to start on days when I had to drive to orientations or meetings.  Luckily I'm not superstitious.

So, last week I "met" with the surgeon at Sault Area Hospital, via telehealth (sort of like Skype).
He seemed OK.  His name is Dr. Lindsay and he works at St. Joseph's health clinic in Toronto.
He asked me questions, I asked him questions, and in the end he OK'd me for surgery.  So that was the last hoop.  I'm just waiting for Natalie, his secretary, to call me, 2 weeks or so from now, he said.  He said I'd likely get the surgery in January 2017, but will have to come to Toronto in December to meet the team and get my optifast, which is a high protein drink that I'll have to drink in order to shrink my liver before surgery. Most people have to take it for about 2-4 weeks, which means I may be on it over Christmas, which sucks. I wish I could get the surgery before Christmas so I'd have my new pouch to help me through the holidays (I'll feel too ill to want to eat anything after surgery).  Before surgery I'll have to rely on willpower alone, and that's not good.  I'll do it; of course I will, but it will be so much harder because I'm living at home and my Mom will bake cookies every day for 2 weeks straight.  I'll have to put vicks vapo rub in my nose so I can't smell them. Christmas dinner won't bother me; it's the cookies and cinnamon rolls that will drive me mad.

All along, for 2 years I've been saying I"d prefer to have the surgery in spring, summer, or fall; anything but winter, because I'm terrified to drive in Toronto and especially in winter, but I've decided to fly instead.  I should be able to get the money back, plus 100 dollars toward my lodging.
Although winter isn't ideal, it means I'll have lost a good amount of weight by summer, which means bike riding will be fantastic next spring and summer.  It was great this year, but if I go more than 10 km I really feel it for the next few days, and can barely move when I get home. 

I plan on swimming, once I'm able to get in the water again after surgery.  I enjoyed bike riding so much I may buy a contraption that will let me ride my bike in the house over the winter; that would be cool, especially if I can look at bike related movies on my tablet while I ride.

So, that's where I am right now.  I'm scared but excited and happy, at times more happy than scared, which is good.  I've been watching loads of Youtubers who've gone through the processs, and signed up for obsityhelp.com, for support.  I even met a few ladies in town who've had the surgery, plus 2 of my friends have had it.  I won't have any home support, but then again, I never have had home support from my parents or family.  Both of the aunts who used to support me, Shirley and Cobie, have passed on, and my parents will not be happy with my having surgery, nor will they be sympathetic afterward.  So my supports will be my friends and strangers I don't even know.  That's OK.  I only mention it because so many of the videos say people can't do this without support, but that is not fair to people who don't have supportive families.  We can't help that we were born into families that like to scream and yell and don't like to give support.  It may be harder to do without support, but everything in my life that requires support is harder to do, so I'm used to it.  I think I'll be fine.  Thanks for listening.

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