Saturday, November 21, 2020

On turning 50 ....and a 2010 surgery reboot.

 Happy birthday to me!  The other day I turned 50.  Wow!

My sister Susan asked me if I was bothered by turning 50.  I told her that I was not because I don't look it.  Ha.  I don't even know what 50 is supposed to look like.  Truly though, I don't mind.  There are a lot of people, my own brother Bob included, who never get to be this age.  I try really hard not to take day I get for granted. 

My 50th birthday found me by myself, which is where I wanted to be so thanks Covid.  A  lot of days I torment myself by freaking out about where am I "supposed" to be and what am I "supposed" to be doing.  But I suppose I am right where God wants me to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing.  It took me a long time to get to this point in my life and I do not just mean the actual years.

I have been having some pretty significant health problems for about nine months that have been a drag to say the least.  When my stomach is empty I am in terrible pain that feels like a band is around my stomach and lungs and hurts to breathe.  When I eat, I get nauseated and spend a lot of time barfing.  I have lost just under 35 pounds in that time and it's the biggest reason why I had to get off the truck.  It's very hard to be out there and be sick ALL THE TIME. 

Over the past couple months I have had an upper endoscopy, upper GI/Swallow test and a gastric emptying study trying to figure out what is wrong and tried several meds to try to get things under control.  The results were severe reflux, a hiatal hernia and gastroparesis(Gastroparesis is a disease in which the stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion.)  My gastroenterologist told me that since I had gastric bypass (2/1/2010) he was not sure there was anything that could be done to help me so he sent me to a bariatric surgeon. 

In the machine, 2 hours not moving.
Radiated eggs for emptying study                                                

In the weeks that I suffered through while for  my appointment with the bariatric surgeon I had pretty much convinced myself that this was just something I was going to have to live with for the rest of my life and I was not happy about it at all.  My mental health was really suffering right along with my physical self.  I knew that if this was the way it was to be then my truck adventures were surely over.  I just couldn't imagine feeling horrible nearly 100% of the time like I had  been for months and months.

I finally met with the bariatric surgeon and he is my new favorite person in all the land. I walked in there expecting to hear the worst and instead he told me " Good news.  I think I can fix you". (insert crying Kathy here)

He told me that he feels 99% certain that the hernia (which i did not think was an issue at all) was causing all the problems and that over 80% of my stomach/pouch was through the herniated area and in my diaphragm.  He told me that there may be a few other things other than hernia repair that need done as well but he won't know until he "gets in there".  

So, what does this mean?  Well, on 12/17/2020 I will have hernia repair surgery and repair whatever else needs fixed up in there.  This is basically a "reset" of my gastric bypass that I had in 2010.  Im pretty much starting from scratch again with 6-8 weeks of a liquid diet, then moving to pureed foods, soft foods and so on.  Am I looking forward to this?  Ummmm, no.  BUT am I sad about this?  HECK NO!  I have done it before and I will do it again.  I will take this surgery and whacked out diet a millions times over feeling horrible all day everyday for the rest of my life.

I actually think it might be easier this time.  In 2010 I still had four kids and a husband at home that I cooked for everyday.  It was hard to make yummy food for them, and then drink three ounces of protein shake or eat pureed food while they had spaghetti and tacos!  Now, since I am by myself I will not have any of those temptations and tortures.  

Dr Bariatric surgeon did tell me today that I will have to start "eating like a grown up" and getting more exercise (so who wants to walk with me or go to the gym?)  He insists that I need 60-80 grams of protein a day and that my spaghetti o's are not cutting it any longer.  I am lucky if i get 60 grams of protein a week right now so this will be fun.

One of the best things he told me was this.  I asked him if I was crazy that I felt being on the truck made me feel worse.  He said "absolutely not crazy to think that.  With the truck movement and bouncing up and down pushing your stomach in and out of that hole in your diaphragm, of course it made you feel worse.  But that will be better after surgery"  This makes me happy that my semi riding days are not over.  It will likely not be before May 2021 that I will be able to get back out there, but its still an option for the summer if I want it to be!  Yay!

So, yeah.  That's my story.  2020 has definitely been one for the history books for all of us.  This is just my chapter.  

Ill be traveling to NC to spend Thanksgiving with Andrew and Adam in the mountains.  Hoping to see some friends while I am down there.  When I get back I will get started transitioning into my liquid diet and be ready to roll on 12/17.  After I get my brain assaulted from another Covid test anyway! 

Stay tuned.  I am SURE I will have many more thoughts to share.

Thanks for reading.  Love you all and Happy (and safe)Thanksgiving!  

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Back on the Road again

 Things have been rough.  I've been having some health issues and between meds, and not really getting any answers from my doctors I began to feel pretty depressed.  Mark happened to be coming through town on his way to the North East so I decided to jump on the truck for a little while.  He was coming home on the 27th of October anyway so here I am.  

I was very excited to see the colors of foliage in the NE states, however the rain and clouds took a bit away from it.  It was totally beautiful for sure, just a little sun would have been nicer!

We are currently in Missouri where we deliver tomorrow.  We then go to Iowa and then to Nebraska and then a delivery in Philly before we head home on Tuesday.

Enjoy the pics!  

Love to all.