Friday, January 31, 2014

I have a flat tummy!

OMG, I am soooooo impressed!
I look down and my tummy is flat.
Yet there is still swelling that needs to subside.
And my weight?
Well, it's down by 5.4 lbs!
That puts me within striking distance of 20% body fat loss.
You'll recall that I had set April 11th as my goal date to reach that milestone.
Methinks I will meet that goal, and then some.
Have I mentioned how pleased I am that I finally had this done?
It was and is soooo worth it! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm going home!

The surgery was a resounding success.
And there's really very little pain.
Not at all what I was expecting. I mean, I have pain but not much.  Compared to the hip replacement, this is a walk in the park!
I was hooked up to a pain pump that would allow me to administer a 1 mg dose of morphine every ten minutes, for a maximum of 24 mg in four hours.  When they came to check it, I had used only four mg in five hours!  I was only needing a shot at three hour intervals.
I'm going home with Tylenol #3 for pain control, which I may or may not use.
The doctor is mightily impressed with my progress.
I'm mightily impressed with my flat tummy.  And it's still swollen!
Am I sorry I spent this money?
Not one bit.  Worth every penny!

Monday, January 27, 2014

This is it!

Finally the day has arrived.
Thirty-five + years I've been waiting for this.
Now, there's only a few hours more to wait.
Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Only one more sleep to go

Tomorrow is the day.
I have to be at the hospital by 6:30 am for my scheduled 8:00 am surgery.
It should all be over by 11:00 am.
The surgical part, that is.
John will receive a call from the surgeon (or someone from the surgical team) immediately that the surgery is completed.  I, of course, will be sent to recovery.  (John will call my little chickadee and my Angel; my little chickadee will call her list of people who need to know.)
I can expect to be in the recovery room for at least one hour, possibly two. (My breathing issues require my being in recovery longer than most.)
Only once they have my breathing stabilized will they send me to my room.
And only once I'm in my room will they allow visitors.
I can expect to be in a  lot of pain.
Been there.  Done that.  Got a few t-shirts.
I remember it well.
As I've said, I'm really not looking forward to the recovery portion of this journey.
But I so can't wait to wake up in that recovery room tomorrow!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

OMG, 17 years!

Today marks 17 years that John and I have been married.
Who'da believed it?
It's really true that time flies when you're having fun!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dry Mouth Woes are OVER!

It would appear that my respirologist has solved my dry mouth woes.
I took my CPAP machine in for a "check up" the other day, just to ensure that all was as it should be pre-surgery.  He made a minor adjustment to it in light of the surgery but all was otherwise OK.
Then I raised the matter of my dry mouth issue again and suggested that perhaps the problem was coming from the mask.  I wondered if perhaps it didn't quite fit and was pinching my nostrils such that I couldn't breathe through my nose, forcing me to breathe through my mouth.  
He checked the mask against my face, determined that it was the right size for me, in that the next larger size would be too big.  But he opined that perhaps I was "between sizes."  
I explained that I had noticed that the only time I breathed through my mouth was when I was wearing the stupid mask.
He whipped out a nasal mask and fitted it to me, turned it on and said, "try this."  The force of air making its way through my nose was heavenly.  And I had no problem keeping my mouth closed and breathing through my nose!
So he gave me the nasal mask!
That night, I used the nasal mask rather than the full face mask.
No Biotene Oralbalance gel.
Went the entire night without waking with dry mouth!  (I did waken, but not for dry mouth issues.)
The second night, I wakened repeatedly because I couldn't get the damned thing to sit properly.  (Turned out I had put it on upside down.  My "dry runs" the next day quickly identified the problem and I figured out how to properly wear the damned thing!)
And last night?  Well again, I went the entire night without waking with dry mouth.  (I did waken once, but it wasn't because of dry mouth.)
I am sooooooo delighted to have that issue resolved, especially before going into hospital.  I wasn't relishing the experience of dealing with the post-surgical discomfort combined with the dry mouth intensity that would have come with the use of the CPAP machine while in there.
Dry mouth?
What's that?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weight Loss Progress

I haven't talked about my weight loss progress (or lack thereof) for some time.
There's a reason for that.
Over the Christmas holiday period, I kind of gained a few pounds.
OK, I gained four pounds.
Had a bit of a challenge shedding those four pounds too.
But now, I'm happy to report that not only have the four pounds gone into fat heaven, so too have an extra 1.2 pounds.
So, now, I am officially down 30.8 pounds (don't lose sight of that .8 -- it's significant!).  I'm almost at the 16% loss mark.  Do you realize how close that is to having lost 20% of my body fat?
I am so close now, I'm feeling a bit like the little engine that could (well, perhaps like the big engine that could -- or maybe the medium engine that could ...).
Obviously, I won't hit the 20% threshold before my surgery, but I think what it means is that, combined with the surgery (which will only account for about two pounds), once I've healed and the swelling subsides, I should be at least at that 20% loss.
Everything one reads about weight loss talks about the benefits derived from just a 10% reduction.  Well, I've almost doubled that.  Does that mean I get twice the benefit?  Or just increased chance of gaining those benefits?
Whatever it means, I'm danged pleased with my progress and I plan to continue my "healthy living" approach, so natural has the lifestyle become to me.
My new goal is to reach a 20% loss.  I now think that's doable and it will put me at a not unreasonable weight for me.
Perhaps I'll now set a date by which I would like to have reached my new goal weight.
I'm choosing April 11th.  That will be one year from the date on which I started this journey.
Only eight more pounds to go ...
... and twelve weeks in which to drop them.
Surely I can pull that off!

Friday, January 17, 2014

It's getting closer!

Ten days 'til my tummy tuck surgery (OK, my abdominoplasty).
A mere ten days.
It'll be here before I know it.
Am I ready?
You bet you're sweet bippee I'm ready.
Been ready for nigh on 35 years.
(Can you tell I'm looking forward to having it done?)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dry Mouth Woes

I believe I've talked here before about my issues with dry mouth (known as xerostomia).
My dry mouth issues are made soooooooo much worse by use of the CPAP machine.  That machine just sucks everything right out of me.  It was such an issue that, when I first started using it, I was waking with severe headaches and was prepared to abandon using the unit altogether.
My respirologist encouraged me to stick with it and advised me to try various products that help with dry mouth.  He recommended a few such products and I bought the first one that I found.  
Mouthkote.  It's a spray that I was told to use on my way to bed.  It would help keep me salivated.  It tastes great.  But I still woke every two to three hours, parched.  Had to struggle to "wet my whistle," as it were.
It became such an issue that, a year ago, I stopped using the CPAP altogether.  I was simply waking too frequently and it was more of a hassle to use the machine than not.
Fast forward to this past October when my family physician and I were discussing my desire to have this tummy tuck surgery and I expressed my concerns about the anaesthetic.  She encouraged me to start using my CPAP machine.  She was concerned that I wasn't using it and felt strongly that I should be.
I revisited the respirologist to have my CPAP machine checked out (it had been "stored" for some ten months by this point) and started over in my search for something that might help with the dry mouth. Clearly, the Mouthkote wasn't doing the trick so my respirologist offered the names of a few other products that might offer better relief.
This time, I did some serious research before making another purchase.  One of the recommended products was Biotene and it was during my research of that product that I discovered that the sprays are designed to only last two to three hours.  Duhhhhh!  Biotene offers a gel that is meant for overnight use.
Sounds promising, I thought.  So I went on a mission to find a tube of Biotene oralbalance Gel.  That proved to be a little more difficult than I would have thought.  Eventually I found a supply at Shoppers Drug Mart, where I also found a new product, OraMoist Dry Mouth Patch.  It too is supposed to offer overnight relief.
I decided to buy both the gel and the patch to give them each a try to see what worked better.
Having used the gel and patch a couple of times now, I can honestly say that the Biotene Gel wins.
No contest.
A small amount of gel is applied to the tongue and worked throughout the mouth.  The taste is not at all unpleasant.  And its effects truly last all night. While the CPAP machine still sucks everything out of me, when I waken at various intervals, I have no difficulty re-establishing salivation.  (One night, I actually slept seven hours straight through, presumably having managed salivation without waking.)
The patch, on the other hand, is a small disc that affixes to the roof of the mouth.  It dissolves over the course of the next two to three hours.  It tastes awful.  It feels dreadful.  And when I awaken at those three hour intervals, I have great difficulty garnering any salivation.  Apparently, it works for the first three hours. That's it.  Yet, when morning comes and I hit the bathroom to brush my teeth, there is still a residue of the disc left on the roof of my mouth -- I'm guessing whatever is used to affix it to the mouth.  It still felt horrid. And I had to fight to peel it off.  Not a fun experience at all.  I would not recommend the OraMoist Patch for overnight use.  In fact, I don't think I'd want to use it during the day, so uncomfortable is the disc on the roof of the mouth, not to mention the unpleasant taste.
So, having tried all three of the above products, I can readily recommend Mouthkote for daytime use.  I know that Biotene also has a spray (as well as toothpaste and rinse) but I have not tried them so I can't attest to their efficacy.  To my knowledge, Biotene oralbalance is the only product meant for night time use that in fact works for that purpose.  Don't waste your money on OraMoist.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wow, where have I been?

Happy New Year everyone!
I have no idea why I've not posted anything since last year.  All I can say is, "I've been busy?"
I've certainly been busy this week.  Had to make three round trips to the big city -- Monday for my pre-op at the hospital; Tuesday for my physio session; and Wednesday for my pre-op with the surgeon.
Couldn't be helped so I had to do it.  But that ate up three days away from home.
Of course, yesterday being Thursday it was my massage day.  The day I otherwise do "nothing."
The other days were spent doing household-related stuff.  They're rotten jobs but someone has to do them!
Now, I'll be busy readying myself for the "big" day -- tummy tuck time on 27 January.  
Having had the hospital pre-op really helped put my mind at ease with respect to the process and protocols that will be followed.  The anaesthesiologist assured me that I would be well cared for.  The only stumbling block might well be over post-op pain management.  We seem to have different philosophies about that but the surgeon assured me that my views will prevail.  (My view is that I prefer to have minimal pain meds because of the adverse effect they have on me.  I'd prefer to suffer the pain of the surgery -- who expects to come out of surgery without pain?  That surgical pain will subside with time.  The side effects of the pain meds often last much longer with me.  Don't subject me to that extra suffering, please!)
The pre-op with the surgeon was very helpful too.  He answered all my questions and explained again the surgery in detail, then he took the "before" photos.  ("Now let it all out," he said.  "I know you've been holding it in for 30+ years, but this is the time you must relax and let it out."  Too funny!)  He'll take "after" photos at about the three-month post-op mark.
I am sooooo looking forward to it.  Well, I'm not really looking forward to the recovery portion of the journey, but I am surely anxious to get to the other side of the exercise.
It's interesting you know.  I'm not actually "broadcasting" the fact that I'm having a tummy tuck. (Let's face it, my readership here is very low.)  But when the topic arises, those people I do tell all seem to respond the same way:  "Wow, I wish I had the nerve to have one."   What that tells me is that secretly, every woman really does want to have a tummy tuck.  I'm just perhaps the first to be so open about the fact that I'm having one?
I do know a few people who have undergone the surgery.  They are very happy with the results.  But none of them is "readily open" about the fact that they have had the procedure done. (They reveal it in a whispered tone, so as not to let others hear.)  I, on the other hand, expect to be quite proud of my new body, come spring.  Why wouldn't I?  I've carried this albatross around for 35 years and I'll be delighted to be rid of it. I'm thinking I'll be extremely grateful to anyone who notices my new silhouette.