Thursday, June 25, 2009

Waiting for Friday

This week has been pretty crazy. I've been working like a mad woman, and it has been insanely hot here. First, the work part. Last Friday, I interviewed 16 people between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Yes, 16. If you do the math, you will figure out that I had no bathroom break, no lunch break, and no keep-your-sanity break. We are in the process of hiring Peer Coaches (mentors) for my program. Usually, this process is completed in April. So, I'm very much behind this year, although it is no fault of my own. We usually have just enough qualified applicants to fill all of the positions, but this year has been surprisingly different. This year we have way more outstanding, qualified applicants than we will have jobs. This is a great problem to have, however, it is up to me to interview them all and the determine the best ones to hire. Fun times. I wish I could hire them all.
On top of interviews, I'm catching up on not being in the office for three weeks. There are still a lot of little things that need to be done such as filing, returning emails, building databases and websites, writing syllabi, and planning trainings. Again, fun times!

In other news: Summer in Kansas City decided to introduce itself wholeheartedly this year. No slow introduction or teasers, just full-force "here I am". The end of May/first of June saw temperatures in the 70s, maybe a low 80 as a high. Then all of a sudden, almost overnight, we hit 95. WOW Buddy! It got hot in a hurry. No more long walks around the neighborhood or mowing the yard as soon as I get off work. We are on to more strategic planning of outdoor events. That being said, I haven't mowed the yard in over a week and a half. Yuck. The only good thing about such hot days are the many thunderstorms we have been having. That helps cool it off for a while.

Update on me: I am feeling really good considering. I'm supposed to be at the stage where I am eating three meals a day and drinking one shake. Let's just say, I'm working on it. I have had a few days where I get all three meals in, but most days it is two meals and a shake or two. My dietitian says I need to be getting 1000-1200 calories a day. That may not seem like much to you, but it is a stretch to me! I even ate at a restaurant this week for the first time. That may not seem like much to you, but it was a huge accomplishment for me. Now that I'm on "solid food" regularly, I have to be very careful of what I eat, how small the bites are, how much I eat, and how fast I eat. Any of these things can make me sick, so I have to be very conscious of how I am eating. I went to lunch with some friends from work and did very well. It was easy to eat slow because we just talked the whole time, so I could take a bite and talk while my stomach was settling. I finally feel like I am getting back to normal after a month.
This past Tuesday marked the 4 week 'anniversary' of my surgery. Hard to believe it has been 4 weeks already! I went to the doctor yesterday to get my B-12 shot, and had them weigh me. I am down 28/29 lbs in 4 weeks. I have lost maybe one size, I'm not really sure. A lot of my clothes are different sizes, but I did put on a pair of jeans today that I haven't worn since winter, and I can tell that my shirts are fitting better. Baby steps.

Now for the exciting part: I am headed to Dallas on Saturday. I am so excited! I have no huge plans for the week, just spending time with my family, teaching my parents how to play Wii, going to the pool, shopping, and relaxing. Oh, and the all-important hair cut with the infamous Val. I'm driving down with one, possibly two dogs, on Saturday morning. We'll stay through the 4th of July and come home on the 5th. I am so blessed to have family that I look forward to spending time with, and I'm excited about the week ahead.
Tonight, Jaylen and I have a pool date, then he is spending the night. I have tons of stuff to get done before I leave because I haven't accomplished anything at home all week. However, he has been looking forward to this all week, so a 9-year-old slumber party it is! I'll try to remember to take pictures to post. I have a ton of pictures on my camera, I just never happen to download them. Go figure!

Have a great Thursday - and here's hoping Friday afternoon comes QUICK!

Monday, June 15, 2009

How Lucky Am I?

These are my parents:To sum it up: They are awesome. I am truly blessed.

I grew up in an amazing Christian household, where I knew every day how much my parents loved me and how much they loved each other. They were never they type to push me toward anything, but always provided encouragement and support for what I wanted to do. I have many fond memories of growing up. We were always a close-knit family, and went on many trips and did many things just the four of us. The amazing thing is, we are still making fun memories.
I have many qualities of each of my parents, to the point that it is difficult to tell which one I am most like. Just the same, there are activities that I enjoy with each of my parents respectively.

My mom gives the best advice, and is a great listener. She is incredibly patient, and has a huge heart. I love to go to musicals/plays with my mom, go shopping, spend time in the kitchen, get our nails done, travel/explore, and just hang out. We get to go to New York City in September just the two of us to experience the city and take in some Broadway shows. We have been talking about it for a long time, so I'm glad we're finally getting to go. We always a great time together!

My dad taught me how to play golf, and spent painstakingly long hours with me at the driving range and on the course during middle school, high school, and on into college. Not many teenage girls have the relationship with their fathers that I had with mine. Spending that much time together, you can't help but be close and find things you have in common. My dad is very business-minded, and believe it or not, I get a lot of that from him. I remember driving to my grandparents' talking about the stock market and how it worked, or the concepts behind economic supply and demand. We love to watch college basketball together, and each year we go to Vegas to watch the opening rounds of the tournament. Fun times!

When I had my surgery, my parents came up to take care of me in shifts. My dad was here for the actual surgery and the hospital stay. Bless his heart - I think he got the worst shift. I was crabby in the hospital, and wasn't very entertaining because I was so drugged. On top of that, he had to do a whole lot of sitting and waiting. Boring! He also had to navigate Kansas City on his own (well, with help from Tom Tom), but apparently he did very well! He also did a great job of taking care of me. He also mowed my yard, did some laundry, tried to fix my un-fixable sink, and bought me new tires! He's the greatest! My mom came once I got home. I'm sure her shift was still boring, but at least it was in the comfort of home and not the hospital! She cleaned my house, did my laundry, reminded me to eat, drink, and walk, made meals for Randall so I didn't have to think about food for a few weeks, and listened to me complain!

My dad was fortunate enough to retire a couple of years ago after working a job he didn't really love for many years. In his first year of retirement, he and my brother fixed up the house and made most of the improvements to it that my parents had been wanting to do. (I say "most" because I am still holding out for the pool! hint - hint) Then he got involved in Real Estate Investing. It has been so much fun to watch and listen to him get involved in something that he is passionate about and really enjoys. It's inspiring, and he certainly deserves it!

My mom retired two weeks ago after teaching forever. Well, not forever, but longer than I have been alive. She was a wonderful teacher, and has touched so many lives over the years. I have no doubt that she will continue to be involved in education in some way during her retirement.

My parents leave for Hawaii in a couple of days, and I do have to say, I am insanely jealous. However, after all of their years of hard work, sacrifices, and putting up with me and my brother, I have to say, they certainly deserve this trip! I could not be more excited for them, as this really marks the beginning of their retired years!

Mom and Dad, I love you both so much, and can not begin to thank you for the love and support you have given me over the years. I am so happy for you that you are able to retire at such young ages and that you will truly be able to enjoy being retired. I hope you have a great trip, and here's to many more (and a few of which I think I need to be included on!).


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Busy morning!

I took Beta to the vet yesterday because he had three accidents in the house and was constantly trying to urinate outside - I mean CONSTANTLY! The vet couldn't find anything wrong (go figure) but it still cost me $60! Ugh! However, she called this morning and apparently her tech had mixed up the urinalysis results with another dog whose name was Bailey. So, apparently Beta does have a bladder infection just as I thought. After stopping by Sonic for a Cranberry Tea (I'm experimenting with what drinks from there I can still have), I picked up his prescription. Now I'm off to the Farmer's Market and probably the grocery store. Then back home to clean and hopefully mow my yard - neither have been done since my parents were here two weeks ago! Yuck! I'm usually one to clean twice a week, but I just haven't felt up to it. I'm crossing my fingers that I can get it all done today so I can rest tomorrow before going back to work Monday!

p.s. I PROMISE the next post will have pictures! I've been brainstorming that part...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update after the 'real' doctor's visit

Today was my 2 week post-op check up, and it went great. I was down 21 pounds from my last visit (5-6-09) and they were very pleased with that. It was a busy check-up, I saw 5 different people:

1. The nurse - she took my vitals and weighed me. She asked me tons of questions about bodily functions you probably don't want to know about and told me I needed to be getting more water each day than I have been getting. She took my stitches out of one of my incisions, she said she didn't see any others. The stitches had already 'busted', so she didn't even have to use scissors to cut them. She was very pleased with how my seven incisions had healed.

2. The psychologist - she talked to me about what I had been doing since surgery, how I had been spending my time, etc. She was very pleased with the support system that I have (thank you everyone!), and overall was please with my progress. I told her my biggest fear was gaining weight. It sounds silly, but it's true. For so long, every time I stepped on a scale, my weight would have increased, so I have those same expectations now.

3. The surgeon - he was very please with my progress; he ended up taking another stitch out of one of my incisions that the nurse had missed. He's really funny and joked with me about what a great job he did! He was concerned that my protein was making me feel sick, but admitted he was not the expert on food/protein, so he made a note for the dietitian to talk to me about it. He released me to go back to work on Monday, and said to keep doing what I'm doing.

4. The dietitian - she's great. I really like her a lot; I've been seeing her monthly for the past six months. She wasn't pleased with me feeling sick after I 'eat', and told me that the protein I have been using isn't absorbed very well into the body (she showed me a research piece about it), and suggested I use something different. She is pretty convinced the change will make me feel better. She suggested I stay on a mostly liquid diet for at least another week and ease into soft foods as I feel like it. Her suggestion was to try one 'meal' and three shakes a day and progress from there.

5. The exercise physiologist - she's the greatest. She's about my age, and we have a great rapport. She didn't believe me at first that I had been jogging a little, and was pleased; however, she did caution me that too much jogging/running could stress the internal incisions and stitches, so she told me to take that part easy. She was pleased with how much activity I am getting each day, and we talked about ways to make sure I am getting enough water when I exercise. She also reminded me that I can not lift anything over 10 lbs until I go back in 4 weeks, and she said I can't get in the pool for at least another week, until my incisions are completely healed. BUMMER!

So, that's all the news that is the news today. I went from there to this awesome toy store I found online this weekend. It's called The Learning Tree, and carries a lot of educational toys for kids. I just love stores like that, and I found an awesome birthday gift for my Sadie (who is going to be 4, but I'm in denial!), and lots of ideas for Makaela's 1st birthday next month. They even gift wrapped it for free! Awesome! Stores like that make me want kids so bad! Oh, well, some day....

I'm off to the gym before all the 'commoners' get of work - haha! I'm going to miss this luxury when I go back to work on Monday! After that I may head to the pool, even though I can't get it - I can always read my book and eat Sonic ice-cubes. Here's hoping these clouds go away while I'm in the gym!

Have a great rest of the week! God Bless...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Doctor visit? What doctor visit?

Due to some very frustrating and disheartening mistake, my doctor's appointment that was on my calendar for today is actually not until Thursday! UGH! I was (and still am) SO frustrated! My ride dropped me off at the doctor's office (remember, no driving!), and wouldn't be back for 2 hours. After sitting in the waiting room for about 15 minutes, the nurse came out and told me there had been a mix-up. She could tell I was frustrated. She said she would not release me to go back to work tomorrow as (I had) planned, but that since I am not on pain medication I can drive. Praise God! I am no longer house-bound!!! Yeah!
So, that left an hour and forty-five minutes before my ride returned. Luckily, the Plaza isn't too far from the hospital, so being the now avid walker that I am (?????), I decided I would walk down there and go to Starbucks. Now, normally I am not a fan of the yuppie establishment. Today, I didn't have a lot of choices - it was too early for any of the other restaurants to be open, and who really wants to go to a restaurant where you can't eat anything anyway? Fortunately I had packed a book and my ever-trusty black planning notebook, so I was good to go. When I got to Starbucks (after falling in the middle of the plaza - New Shox = slippery soles; Drizzly morning = slick sidewalks; Slippery shoe soles + Slick sidewalks = bruise on Bec's knee and wet seat of jeans) I had to think hard how to order. I can't have milk, I can't have sugar, and I can't have caffeine. I used to be a Diet Coke person. It is SO much easier to order a Route 44 Diet Coke than a Tall Skinny Vanilla Decaf Soy Latte. Or something like that. Once I got through that mouthful, I realized they had oatmeal. Oh, happy day!!!!!!! So, I got an oatmeal, and ate almost all of it. I was so excited! You can get brown sugar, dried fruit, or nuts on top. Oh, how I wished I could have added any of those. Instead, I added cinnamon and splenda, and let me tell you, it tasted like heaven! After a frustrating morning, at least I found a bright light. I thought I might eat and read for a little while (because eating 3 oz of oatmeal takes me a good 30 minutes), and then walk around and browse the shops. I love walking around the Plaza, I rarely spend any money, but I love the shops. However, as if to rain on my parade more, it started to.....RAIN. It had been overcast and drizzly before, but all of a sudden I saw lightening and then the whole coffee shop shook with the thunder, and then down came the Rain. Wow, but it was really pretty, and I was glad to be holed up in a cozy coffee shop. Although they could have turned on the fireplace, after all it was only 65 outside. After about an hour it let up, so I decided to venture out. I was a block over from my favorite non-clothes store of all time - Williams Sonoma (ahhhhh), but on the way I ran into a new store - Zoom. It was the coolest children's store of all time (well, maybe not of all time, but it was cool!). They had all kids of puppets and games and books and stuffed animals and princess dress up stuff and ever farm animal figurine you could think of. I kept think Sadie would be in heaven! I could have spent thousands of dollars in there for the beautiful kiddos in my life (who are not my own but I would steal in one second!)! Instead, right as I was starting to amass a small pile of purchases, my ride called and was on the way. So, that ended my biggest adventure in the past two weeks following my surgery. Wow, my life has become so boring, huh?!?

I have read three and half books, watched numerous tv shows, gotten hooked on Rachel Ray (whom I LOVE now and want to cook all of her recipes except I can't eat any of them yet!), watched at least three movies (Benjamin Button, He's Just Not That Into You, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2), and taken numerous walks.
Today, however, I am going to have to get work done. My house needs cleaning, and I have TONS of work that I can do from home, so I need to get to it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What happens when you have too much time on your hands

Two weeks off work is definitely TOO much time on my hands. I have things I "need" to be doing, things I "want" to do, and things that just some how come up every day that take my time instead. If if weren't for this durn internet thing, I'd probably get some of the things that I "need" to do done. Oh, well.

On the plus side - not being able to eat or drive for two weeks sure saves a lot of money! Seriously - I was balancing my account today and was amazed! However, not being able to eat is actually pretty depressing. Yes, I can certainly focus on the ultimate goal; and doing so makes me feel better. However, sometimes you just want to taste something. Besides protein drinks or shakes, of course.

It is still a struggle when I put anything in my stomach, and I have to admit it is becoming quite depressing. I had been feeling pretty well last weekend, and starting Monday had setting into my 3 meals a day plus vitamins. I felt pretty good on Monday, but on Tuesday the nausea come back in full force. So, I am back to drinking protein drinks, 1.7 oz at a time, and even that is making me nauseous. Thus the depression. Again, I am focusing on the long-term goals, and that does help, but there is also the here-and-now to consider.

I walk every day - usually twice a day unless it is raining. I even added a little jogging into the mix last night and I felt pretty good afterwards.

The boredom is the worst part. I have read 3 books and countless magazines, taken at least two walks a day, watched numerous hours of dvr and a couple of movies, and I am now completely restless and bored. I can only read so much, can only watch so much tv, etc. I think I could get over the feeling of nausea every time I eat (drink), it I were able to drive myself somewhere! A friend took me to Wal-mart yesterday, and even though I had a list, I didn't get everything I needed because it is different when you are on someone else's time. My mom's birthday card is going to be late, because I had to have someone drive me to the store to buy her a card. This is SO not the world I am used to living in! It is one thing to step back and reflect and use the down-time for prayer and meditation - believe me, I have done PLENTY of that. Now, I am just ready to get out of here and take this show on the road! I go see the doctor on Tuesday for my 2-week post-op appointment, and all I hope to hear is good news.

Sorry to be so negative; I'm just being honest.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home for How Many More Days?????

Here is the latest update, it is actually the body of an email I sent to my aunt and cousins this morning, but rather than typing the same information again, I figured this would be easiest. Oh, and yeah....I'm not allowed to go back to work until a week from TOMORROW. That's right, 8 more days!!!!

Apparently I have a serious aversion to anesthesia, because while I had absolutely no pain at all, I was severely nauseous most of the time I was in the hospital. I felt like I had to keep pestering the nurses and trying to make them believe me! They kept asking why I didn't use the pain pump, and I told them I didn't need it - I needed anti-nausea medication! Late on Tuesday night they gave me something that seemed to work, but I was still feeling the effects when I got home Friday (the car ride was fun!). I remember very little from the time I got on the operating table on Tuesday until Thursday morning, but apparently the doctor was very pleased with how the surgery went. He said there was very little bleeding. I have seven little incisions, and by little I mean less than a half inch each. They are so little that none of them required stitches; they taped them and then covered them with a waterproof dressing, and they're already healing nicely - except they itch like crazy!
It took a few days to get everything out of my system, and I really didn't start feeling like myself until late Saturday when mom was here. I have been walking at least twice a day since I got home from the hospital, and now I'm up to two miles a day - a mile in the morning and a mile in the evening. I feel great most of the time - except when I eat. That is still a very hard adjustment for me. I have been taking the "New Whey" bullets, we bought the ones that have 42g of protein in them, so I only have to drink half of one at a meal, and that alone about does me in. I've been trying to get in some soup or applesauce or pudding, but even just drinking the protein I have to lay down for about 20 minutes after I eat. I'm really hoping this part gets better - soon! I struggle to get all of my water in, the dr said to work up to 64 oz, and yesterday was the first day that I got 32oz in, which I was very proud of! The doctor did tell me that he made my pouch a little smaller than usual, he said it just worked out that way. I'm not sure what a little smaller means, but it obviously means right now that it can't handle any more than 2oz of liquid protein and 2 spoonfuls of soup! However, all of that being said, I weighed myself this morning and I was down 10.5 lbs from the Saturday before my surgery (the 23rd), so a little over a week.
The no driving thing was fine while dad and mom was here, but it is driving me crazy now. Not that I have anywhere to go really, it is just the thought of relying on someone else. Being out of work is a little of a drag and a little of a blessing. I have realized in the past few days that I am not in love with my job anymore, and that if I didn't have this particular one, I wouldn't be too sad, so that has been eye-opening. I've also realized that I don't want to stay in Kansas City too much longer. It is a great place with great people, but at the end of the day, you can't beat being close to family. When mom left Sunday I lost it. I felt so alone. I know that I am not alone, I have Randall's family and some great friends that are checking up on me and offering to do a lot of things for me, but it's just not the same as family. Its a lot easier to ask my mom to vacuum my floors and my dad to wash my towels than it is a good friend - at least for me!