I am fucking exhausted you guys. My first day back was nothing at ALL but still, I’m bone tired. Literally, all I did was read and delete emails and then deal with some admin persnickety stuff but it took it out of me. I DID get up very early today (5am) and I DID exercise for an hour (dancing and then on the treadmill) but still. For how exhausted I am (body and soul), you’d think I had a rough day. Reader, I did not. It’s just this funking surgery. I can’t wait to get my damn energy back.
I came home tonight and got right into my jams. Kristyn made me some broccoli and kale crust pizza and now we’re watching Castle Rock, Season 1 after two episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show. I feel a little better now that I’m laying down. I’m going to go chill. Byeeeeeeeee.
Okay pals, today’s the day. I’m heading back to werk this morning for the first time in seven weeks. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. My energy has been really low this week. It’s possible that could be because I flipped over into college hours in my final week at home. I got up at 5am today and exercised for an hour so I’m feeling pretty decent but I know I’ll be EXHAUSTED when I get home.
Basically today, I’m going to be in IT all day; I can guarantee it. I have legit NO IDEA what my laptop password is. My computer is going to have to do seven hundred thousand updates. And then I’ll have a ton of emails to look through before I can do anything. I’ve checked my email a few times since I’ve been away to see what’s cooking but it’s all been taken care of. Basically, I’ll probably just skim through it and file it. For a week’s vacation, you can come back with things to do. For SEVEN WEEKS’ medical leave? Someone else needs to handle that shit because you have no idea when that person will really be able to return, right?
So, yesterday, I had a crazy thing happen. I was standing and lifted up my foot without thinking and realized that I raised it way higher than I have in a long time. Then suddenly, I went into that pose above! The fuq?! That shit is incredible to me because I used to be very flexible and used to be able to do stuff like the above with no problem at all. But within the last few years, uh uh no way no how could I have done that. I’ve lost 35 pounds now and the last time I was this weight was probably in 2014? 2015? That means I’ve peeled off 4-5 YEARS of weight. That’s incredible to me. (BTW, I photoshopped the photo above. Why not use my weight loss to learn photoshop?)
Anyway, my goals in this are less to lose weight although that’s nice and more to gain strength, flexibility, and endurance oh and ENERGY! I was thrilled to see that some of the old flexibility is returning. Wild wild wild.
It’s been over a week since I wrote and honestly, it’s been a blur. Mostly I’ve been cleaning the house, watching The Dick Van Dyke Show, learning to eat food like a person, and exercising. This “eating like a person” thing is hard because it’s tough to eat small enough portions that I don’t feel sick while getting in enough protein and fiber with a low enough portion of carbs and sugars. The REAL rough thing is trying to fit in all my vitamins and pills. I have a few prescriptions to take to make sure that my stomach doesn’t over-produce acid and also so that I don’t develop gallstones. I also need to take specific vitamins. All of these pills can’t be taken together but mostly all need to be taken with food. It’s a job unto itself.
We DID have two big things happen this week though:
We had our in-home inspection for Foster to Adopt on Friday. We had to prepare for that all last week a little at a time; hence the cleaning. It went well, there are a few things we need to fix and then we’ll have a re-inspection next week. Wish us luck!
We went to Kate’s Lazy Meadow in Mt. Tremper, NY for our 6 year wedding anniversary (see above). We do this (almost) every year for our wedding anniversary AND it was the first weekend I could “travel” post-surgery. It felt really good to get into the car and drive. We didn’t do too many things this year because I still have a limited amount of spoons; even though my energy is increasing all the time. Still, we went shopping in Phoenicia, made a nice dinner, went to the Jericho Drive-in to see the Addams Family movie, went to the Phoenicia Diner, and chilled. It was rainy on Sunday and it was so nice up there that we decided to stay another day. We just lazed on the couch and watched sitcoms and then that CNN multi-part documentary about the history of comedy. Then I napped forever. Kristyn caught up on reading for her exams (that she’d intended to do on Monday) and then we intended to do some sightseeing on Monday but we were both exhausted so we came home. All that traveling has me wiped even though it was just a two hour ride. Here are some other photos:
One thing I forgot is that I had my first glass of wine post-op on Sunday night. Whoooo that hit me fast and hard! I was fine though; it didn’t make me sloshed. I didn’t have a lot and I didn’t drink fast. I probably had one glass of wine total and it felt like I’d had three BUT the feeling also went away quickly too which was good. Some surgeons recommend that you don’t have a drink for at least a year. My surgeon said it was fine after one month which is the bare minimum. Basically, 1) because your stomach is so small post-op, it absorbs everything differently meaning that you can get drunk faster, 2) Post-op patients sometimes have transfer addiction from food to whatever else so they want to avoid you turning to alcohol. Understandable. I’m not much of a drinker anyway so although I want to keep it that way, I felt comfortable to have a glass of wine on my anniversary weekend. The one other thing they recommend is not to have your first drink in public so that you don’t make an asshole out of yourself. So, we just watched The Jersey Shore Family Vacation, Season 3 while we had some wine. Perf.
Okay, so this week we have a lot on the agenda. We have to fix up the house to pass our home inspection, we have concert tickets, it’s Halloween, and we’ve been invited to a daytime event for DCPP and also a friend’s party. I’m going to have to alternate between relaxing and exercising to keep my energy up for all of this; it’s a lot at once. Next Monday I go back to work and I’m okay with that. I’m glad I took this extra time because I feel so much better than I did when I was supposed to go back two and a half weeks ago. I’m no longer in pain like I was. My incisions are healed. Even though I don’t have as many spoons as I’d like, I have more than I did. I’m not napping during the day (except for Sunday which was more of a pleasure nap than a necessary nap) and my exercise amount has been increasing. I assume I’ll be dead to the world after work every day next week but it is what it is. It’ll feel good to be back in the world and get used to this new life while working.
Seven weeks! I’ve been home for seven weeks! One week was vacation pre-op and six weeks was post-op. In all that time, it doesn’t feel like much has happened but I did do one huge thing; took control of my health and lost 30 pounds! Okay, I gotta GTFO. Byeeeeee!
P.S. We finished watching Drag Race All-Stars 2 last night!
I still haven’t left the house since Saturday. Yesterday I intended to but then felt it best if I stayed in and accomplished some paperwerk-esque items including making the above business cards! I’ve been trying to launch a side business all year long; going so far as to create an LLC and a tax ID, to do the early stage items to start an Etsy shop, claim social handles, and create a blog. I’ve started making some jewelry and buying fabric to make some things. I was offered the opportunity recently to read tarot cards at a cancer charity event in the next town over; benefitting cancer patients in that town and my hometown. I’m choosing not to get paid for that because it’s a) an awesome cause and b) I don’t want to/can’t earn money on medical leave. I created those cards at the suggestion of the gal who is giving me this opportunity. It felt great to make them but I already can see that I made an error. I got licensed to do Reiki this year so I should have put it next to tarot.
Oh and THIS was why a psychic medium came to my house the other day. I did a practice run read on her. I’ve been reading tarot (or trying to learn to) since I was a teenager. Within the last two years I have gotten pretty good at it (in comparison to how I used to do). There are a few main thoughts about tarot: 1) when you are reading someone’s cards, you are “fortune telling” or gleaning information from a higher source, 2) when you are reading someone’s cards, you are interpreting the art on the cards in relation to each other as a point of conversation and making sense of a chaotic world, and 3) when you are reading someone’s cards, you are both interpreting the art/archetypes AND if you’re good enough, you’re also using your intuition. Personally, I started with interpreting the art and now there’s room for intuition. I’ll report back on how it goes.
So also, today I had some other weird paperwork to take care of but then I decided to take advantage of the cold, windy, rainy day. Mid-afternoon, just as the storm started, I got cozy in my armchair with the wind blowing in on me. Listening to the rain, I put on something spooky (that Haunted show on Netflix) and then took a long nap. It was excellent. When I woke up, I ate something and then got comfortable again so we could watch Stranger Things, season 2 on Netflix. I got REAL bored with it when it came out (even though I loved Season 1). Kristyn wants to watch season 3 so now we’re watching it. I just remembered that part of why I didn’t watch this season is that Charles died right after it was released. He was really into this show and binge-watched it right before he died so I didn’t have the heart to watch it. Forgot about that grim factoid. Happy Halloween!
Speaking of Halloween, all the witchy Instagram accounts I follow keep reminding me that the “veil is thinning”. I believe it. I have been thinking of Charles, Nana (maternal grandma), and Gram (maternal great-grandma) a lot lately. I had a weird dream about Charles recently where we were hanging out at a party and he was probably a pre-teen. Even though we were at a party, he was pretty serious and so was I. I remember that I kept thinking that I wanted to hold off on telling him that his brother died until the party was over so as not to spoil his time. It wasn’t until I woke up that I realized that I was the one I was protecting from finding out her brother died so as not to spoil the party. Weird.
I also cried the other morning to the Mary Tyler Moore Show. It was the episode in the final season where Mr. Grant helps Mary get of sleeping pills that she’s been taking for her insomnia. He comes over her house and stays the night to stop her from taking pills. He sits her down on the couch and sings her the lullaby “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (That’s an Irish Lullaby)”. My Grandparents used to sing that to me as a kid and also other songs like it. It made me sob, LOL. I just miss them and also my hormones are all over the place since this surgery. 99% of the time, I am in a great mood; calm and peaceful. But that 1% has got me sobbing suddenly and it happens every few days. That 1% doesn’t have me worried. I’m not SAD SAD or depressed, just grieving and it honestly feels really good to let it out. However, I’m on the last two episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show and I’ve never seen them before so I DID avoid watching them today because I know I’m going to cry and don’t feel like doing it haha.
Okay, signing off fer today, boos! I just felt like tippy-typing and saying hullo!
This week I’m feeling a bit better. I haven’t been nauseous so far. I think perhaps the nausea was that I was eating too fast and perhaps the exhaustion was that I was doing too much too fast and wearing myself out. Still, after talking to my surgeon, we agreed that I need more time to acclimate to this new life. I’m really glad to have done that because this whole thing is like patting your head and rubbing your belly. It’s re-learning how to be a person, essentially. Because I’m healing well and feeling good (mostly), I tend to overdo it when I am feeling good which takes me down.
I haven’t been out of the house since Saturday when I got my hair fixed. Having never really dyed my hair before, I’m shocked SHOCKED at how close she got the color to my natural hair! The only indicator that it’s dyed (or ever was) is that she forgot a little boop of pink in me bangs. It’s okay by me! She did a great job. I might do a weird color again soon but she wanted me to get to an even base before we did that. Aye aye cap’n.
After I got my hurrs did, it was so nice out that we took Shirley to the dog park and she really made a looliebird of herself. She’s…not great with other dogs. She’s GREAT with people in that she loves them and trusts them and wants to be their friend. Actually though, she has no manners whatsoever with people and tends to jump relentlessly on them. We’re permissive mothers, what can I say? But we don’t take her to the dog park often because when we do, she inevitably gets into a kerfuffle with another doggy and everyone looks at us like we brought a goofy murderer into their little doggy heaven. What happened was a little white doggy and her parents were getting ready to GTFO and the owners had put that doggy’s lead and leash on. WELL, little miss Shirley went up to the Mom and Dad for pets and accidentally got in between the little white dog and her parents. So then that dog was sniffing Shirley’s doodle station and Shirley was submitting to that when the other dog started to growl a little. Shirley don’t take no shit from anyone so she let the growling happen for a min or two and then was like “Oh fuck me? No fuck you!” and FLIPPED the little white dog onto her back! (This is a maneuver that she is REAL good at and she’s employed it with our cats as well.) Once she’s on top, she starts snarling and growling and snapping and although she doesn’t actually bite, it LOOKS like she is. It scared the shit out of all of us and I can’t bend down OR lift her in my “delicate condition” (aka bariatric surgery not bebe). I had to holler “Kristyn, get her!” and she got Shirley off the other doggy. Man of la mancha was that a drama. The other parents and baby left and literally like within five minutes, every other dog and dog parent left. Gurlfriend cleared out the entire dog park. She was RADIOACTIVE. Well, one little doggy and her Mom stayed and then unsuspecting people arrive. And then Shirley looked like a wee basketcase because, by that time, she was a nervous wreck and DROOLING heavily out of both sides of her mouth. The legit only time she ever does this is at the dog park OR one time when she licked a bottle of RV antifreeze and almost succumbed. She was flinging drool everywhere and then running up to people who were like “Okay who brought the nerd?” We decided to take her for a solitary walk in the park which she behaved much better for haha. I keep telling Kristyn we need to get Shirley a Chihuahua because the only dog she loves consistently is her friend Chloe (whose Momma is our friend Amanda). I don’t think she’s ever had a fight with Chloe although she’s definitely gotten a little too in her face when playing and Chloe’s given her a piece of her mind.
That day, we also went to Lowe’s to buy some pipe covers. Because we’re working with the state on foster to adopt, we have to have our apartment up to code. They require that you cover pipes because they carry hot water up to the 2nd floor and they don’t want a child to get burned. Reasonable. So we’ve been meaning to do this forever and finally got it done. Now to put the covers on the damn pipes! Shirley was REAL into Lowe’s.
Kristyn’s been having to shoulder the burden of doing some of this cleanup that I can’t because I can’t lift or carry anything heavier than five pounds. Luckily, she’s been doing Crossfit for a year so it’s kind of like she’s been training for this exact moment. The inspector comes to visit on our six year wedding anniversary which is cool. That’s also the day we finally get to go Upstate to Kate’s Lazy Meadow; something we do for our anniversary every year. Since we missed the entire fall season up there because I couldn’t travel, we’re really looking forward to heading up there. The trees have been late to turn this year so hopefully most of the leaves won’t have fallen yet. I love love love being up in the Catskills when the trees are turning. So gorgeous. I love the brisk air too. Today is actually the date that the campground season ends which is kind of a relief because I don’t have to feel sad that I’m not there anymore haha. It’s officially Barr-Scorsone wintertime when the campground closes.
I have to think of what else I want to do today. I bought a ton of supplies to make art and I have a ton of books to read so I have to rip the bandaid off and get started. Funnily enough, a psychic medium came to the house yesterday and told me she was removing blocked energy in my “female creation quadrant” yesterday. I know I’m burying the lede here but more on that later. When she did it, I actually FELT it happen. I’m going to light a creativity candle I bought in LA today and make some shit! Wish me luck!
The “mighty” person I am speaking of is me although I have never once described myself as “mighty”. However, all that blather for the past two weeks about feeling “excellent”? Well, that’s over. Since Sunday, I am nauseous every day all day. I’m keeping everything down and haven’t yakked yet but everything is grossing me out during week 3. My stomach constantly feels mixed up. Everything tastes weird. I read thesetwo articles that say it’s a normal and expected part of bariatric surgery. Literally everything is sickening to me. I’ve been laying down a lot to quell the nausea. Weirdly I’ve found that eating sugar-free ice pops seems to work to calm my stomach. I ate four of them the other day; that’s how nauseous I was.
Still, I’m glad I did this. I still have an increased amount of energy. The last two days we were supposed to go out and didn’t end up doing it, partially because of my nausea and partially because we did stuff around the house with the energy I DO have. With me losing weight so quickly, some of my pants are getting really loose so we went through some bags of old clothes to see if there’s anything in there that would fit me. A few months ago, Kristyn and I had gone through our clothes and put stuff that’s too small in bags for donation but then we never took them to donate. We went through those bags again and I found some clothes of both mine and hers that I will keep to the side in case I need them.
We also straightened up our first bedroom and the third; both of which have been a complete hot mess for literally ALL of 2019 so far. The reason for this mess is that we took every single thing out of the first bedroom and put it into the third so that we can repaint the first bedroom and rip up the old carpet. Well, that turned into a shitload of work that probably took us like 8 months and should have taken us a weekend. a) We’re busy and b) We’re so, so tired. My task for today is to do a little more zhuzhing in the 3rd bedroom and then some hanging in the 1st bedroom which now has a desk and chair in it for me, our treadmill with a TV, and a green screen photo backdrop LOL.
Okay, now, I’m going to take a little naparoo while watching the Pawnee Goddesses episode of Parks and Rec. G’day.
It was fun to write before so I’m going to write a bit more:
1) I’m currently listening to The Artist’s Way. I’ve been meaning to read this for such a long time but I keep getting stuck on the workbook-like tasks you have to complete. It’s nice to just LISTEN to it the full way through to start. It’s already sparking my brain.
2) I’ve restarted watching The Addams Family tv series. It started because Kristyn gave me a Morticia Addams doll in the hospital. I’d actually been wanting to re-watch it so I’m glad she re-ignited my interest. I’m glad there’s an animated movie coming out too. In an odd way, The Addams Family is sort of a “queer text” in that they live their lives differently. They’re a loving family who does things a different way than other people do but just as resolutely as everyone else; marching to the beat of their own coffin. I like that and it’s funny and creative too. I like the sets and the humor. Very comforting!
3) This whole impeachment inquiry. Jeezus. It’s like this guy WANTS to get impeached. I don’t really think that but how ham-fisted can one turd (and all his co-conspirators) be?! What irks me (besides all of it) is that this is taking up this time I have to myself. I’ve been following what’s going on with this administration from the start but a little while before my surgery, I decided to take somewhat of a break from it. I’m mad now that all of this is going on because it has me glued to my phone and raising my anxiety when I could be reading a book, watching a movie, or making art. This fucker ruins everything and takes us down with him. I turned off CNN a few minutes ago. I have to limit myself to only the top of the headlines for the rest of my time on medical leave. It’s not worth it for me to be anxious when nothing is personally happening to warrant it.
4) I am going to participate in Inktober. We’re already three days in so I have three drawings to do today. I’ve always wanted to participate but never got on board quick enough. I’m going to catch up today with three quick ones. I’ve been wanting to make art while I’ve been off but I’ve been too wrapped up in this “healing” business to do it. Now that the house is clean and I’ve procrastinated in every other way, I need to just do it. I’m going to be posting it on Instagram (@buberella).
5) Tomorrow I’m going to go get a haircut. I legit just got one one a few days before my birthday but the gal listened to me and didn’t take any length off. I said that to limit the amount of length taken off because people usually take too much. For the first time a hairdresser listened to me and now I need to get another haircut because it doesn’t look like I’ve had one (other than the addition of bangs). I’m also going to do a consultation about how to fix the color of my hair. I like it the light pink but I think I want it to go back to blonde. I am also watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show and finding myself jealous of normal-colored hair. Ideally, I’d want to go back to blonde and then do Overtone to add color when I want to. I am a firm lover of washing my hair every day. This whole deal about not washing it to keep the color in is nuts which is why it’s come out so fast. It’s even more faded now than it was in that photo above.
6) Tonight we’re going to the opening of an exhibit that Kristyn and her colleagues have been working on. It’s been nice to get out of the house so that’ll be fun. I also have to stop at the grocery store on the way home to get some more soft, high protein, low carb foods I can eat because if I eat another scrambled egg, I think I might ralph (and it’s only my third day of soft foods). I just choked one down about an hour ago. At the end of the month, it’s mine and Kristyn’s sixth wedding anniversary and we made a reservation to go to Kate’s Lazy Meadow again. I’m looking so forward to a) getting out of this house and b) getting to go upstate and see the (end of the) fall leaves. I’m bummed that we had to cut our trailer season so short but it was for a good reason. I’m glad I got this surgery and I’m glad I got it when I did. If I’d put it off, I would have talked myself out of it. Instead, I’m healing, I’m feeling good, have lots of energy, and looking forward to starting school in the Spring. Oh, one thing I don’t know if I mentioned is that I got accepted to the New School’s Media Studies Masters program! I’m glad it didn’t work out to start this Fall because I have so much going on right now. Happy to start fresh in the Spring.
Okay, I’m going to GTFO for now so that I can get up and move my body around. Later.
Hi pals. Interesting note: I wrote the last post just as I took my pain medication right before bed. I wrapped up writing it because my eyes were closing and then immediately fell asleep at the kitchen table after I hit “publish”. GUUUUURRRRL. So that’s how I WAS doing, here’s how I AM doing.
It’s been over a week since the surgery and I’m completely off all pain meds; including Tylenol. I’ve lost at least 1″ all over my body. I have lost 20+ pounds overall; about 10 prior to surgery and about 10 following it. I’ve moved onto the soft foods stage and had the best scrambled egg I’ve ever had in my LIFE the other day. I’ve also had an incredible amount of energy. I asked a friend who’s also had gastric sleeve surgery if she also felt like this and she said “Yes I had a disco ball of energy”. That’s me, pals; a “disco ball of energy”. I used to be a disco ball and I am now a disco ball once more. That makes this all worth it.
I’ve been exercising every day; just dancing around to The Mary Tyler Moore Show and some light stretching. I’ve also been going for some 15 minute walks around the block (not as many as I should be doing) but I feel like that’s okay because I’ve been up on my feet all day moving around. We’ve gotten out of the house a few times since the surgery. Last Saturday we walked around Michael’s and AC Moore looking at the Halloweenie decorations and then went to see Judy. Last Sunday, we relaxed all day and then went to Target. This Tuesday, we went to see Team Dresch in Jersey City. We had tickets for last night also but skipped it. I needed the rest and it was at Le Poisson Rouge in the city. I REALLY didn’t feel like doing that although I’m sorry I missed it.
I’ve had a visiting nurse come twice and another one is coming this morning. The nurse I’ve seen so far is Scottish and her family lives in town which means our families probably know each other at least a little. That was comforting. She told me I’m doing well. I see my surgeon on 10/9 and then I’ll find out if I’m cleared to go back to work for 10/14. The only reason why I think I might not be would be because I’m starting on solid food that week which could bring about some gastrointestinal acclimation which could be awkward to experience in the office. I guess we’ll see.
Yesterday I felt good enough to spend the day cleaning the house. Well, it was more like straightening up rather than cleaning. I can’t bend or lift for a while so I just made order and decorated. The house had slid into straight fuckery since my surgery because I’ve acquired a lot of paperwork, medications, birthday cards, get well cards, gifties, and lots and lots of mail that’s stacked up. Somehow I spread this ephemera all over the house and therefore had to endeavor to put it all in it’s correct place yesterday. I straightened up two bedrooms (one moreso than the other), the living room, and kitchen. I decorated for Fall and Halloween. I went through the mail and separated trash from actionable items. I hung up all my cards, and put everything else away or on display as should be. AND THEN I CRASHED.
Also? It’s a lot of work to get through just following my doctor’s orders every day; taking my meds on time, vitamins, drinking the correct amount of fluids I should be, getting the exercise I need to, and the right amount of protein. That doesn’t sound like a lot but because I’m healing it is. I keep wishing I was more “productive” during this time but my nurse was like “You just had major abdominal surgery, gurl. Take it EASY and DO NOT OVERDO IT.” Taking heed, I have let myself read a book and take a nap sometimes. It’s this energy though; it wants me up and doing. Doing what, I don’t exactly know but I’ve been on my feet from the second I shoot out of bed to the time I force myself into bed at night. I hope I keep this energy. It’s the whole reason I did this heinous thing in the first place.
Today, I’m going to work on the bedroom that I didn’t finish yesterday. It’s not a lot of work. I just need to have Kristyn put away some paint cans (from when we painted rooms before the surgery). I need to organize a desk. I need Kristyn to move a few boxes to the other side of the room. Then together, we need to set up this photo backdrop I bought a few weeks ago. I have always wanted to try my hand at portrait and studio photography so I bought a backdrop, some photo lights, and a new tripod. We figured that we can both use it to take full body progress photos; me for my surgery and Kristyn for Crossfit as well as something she has coming up. Also, when I bought the kit, it came with a white, a black, and a GREENSCREEN backdrop. I’m tickled about the greenscreen. Back in the day, I learned a little bit about how to do greenscreen and I’d love to learn play with that.
Okay, time to go eat an egg. I can tell already that I’m going to get over eggs REAL soon. I ate a reheated one last night and almost yakked. Not looking forward to this one right now.
I turned 40 last week. People always expect you to feel downtrodden about a milestone birthday like that but I didn’t whatsoever. I love my birthday and I love celebrating it. You only get to be a certain age one time in your life so why not enjoy it? Also, I kind of like looking at decades in my life as chapters in a book. I was excited to end the chapter of “30s” and start on a fresh new decade for my 40s. When I was turning 30, I decided that I wanted to do something HUGE to commemorate it. I was either going to go skydiving OR move to LA. Those who have been following this blog for a while will know that we chose LA. It was a really good choice even though sometimes it was hard. For my 40’s I wanted to something equally drastic but didn’t want to move SO that brings me to the next things:
I dyed my hair pink! Actually, I had Kristyn bleach and then dye my hair pink. To be frank, she did a great job but also it does not look good haha. I took the bleach off too soon and then we used a really weak Manic Panic lilac-y color that wouldn’t absorb. So we just threw hot pink over it. It’s coming right out so now it’s all streaked with blonde. Next week, if I’m feeling better, I’ll go have someone re-do it professionally. Which leads me to:
I got gastric sleeve surgery yesterday, 9/23. It was also the Autumnal Equinox/Mabon so that felt special to me. Honestly, pals, if I didn’t know that I’d had surgery, I wouldn’t really know I’d had it. It doesn’t hurt at all. I’m drinking liquids and moving around as much as possible which feels good. The hospital staff at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ were fantastic. I’ve never stayed overnight in a hospital before except to do a sleep test. I think they’ve set a pretty high bar.
So, I want to talk a bit about WHY I did these things. For the pink hair, IDK, it’s just something I have been feeling like doing lately. In the 90’s, I didn’t do it because all my friends were and I didn’t want to blindly follow the pack. Plus, I liked the color of my hair as is. PLUS I saw how much stupid effort went into dying their hair those colors and was like “Nope, too much work for something so silly.” But I decided to do it because “Why the hell not?” Basically, I wanted to look back at photos of this significant time in my life and see that I’d taken a chance. I’m glad I did it even if the results are straight fuckery.
Now re: the gastric sleeve. I want to talk about what my body felt like before this surgery and what it feels like now. So my reasons for getting this surgery are health and fertility-related. But honestly, I just want stamina and endurance. I want to get my strength back. I feel so earthbound and heavy all the time. When I was younger and weighed like 150 lbs less, I felt so light on my feet that I was sure that if I really wanted to, I could fly. I had so much energy back then. I couldn’t understand how people could just sit on a couch and watch a FULL MOVIE let alone binge watching TV shows. I wanted to be dancing, stretching, talking, doing gymnastics, making art, or anything other than sitting still and staring at a screen (like I am right now lol). But it turned out that I got a sedentary job and when I come home, I just want to crash into the couch after eating a shitty takeout meal. This has made me gain approximately 10 lbs a year which doesn’t sound like much but has added up to 70 lbs since we moved back from LA. I don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror lately. I ESPECIALLY don’t recognize myself when I look at myself in photos. I researched this surgery, talked to people who had it, read articles, followed people who’d had the surgery on Instagram, and found support groups on Facebook. It seems like 9/10 people have a great experience and 1/10 have a terrible experience. I’m only a day out but so far, so good. Not really any pain whatsoever. I just have a lot of gas (because they pump your abdomen up with air to do the surgery and then you have to “release it”). I also have to watch how much I eat and drink because if I overdo it, I can get really ill. The worst part of deciding to get this surgery is trying to re-envision your life where food doesn’t play such a strong emotional centerpiece to everything. Like after 4 weeks, I will be able to eat normal food but I need to have smaller portions. Also, apparently I’ll need to learn which foods trigger bad reactions and which ones are good for my new stomach. I’m actually kind of excited about this. It feels like a craft project and I’m the craft.
Well, anyway, I should GTFO for now because I haven’t slept all day and I am starting to get groggy. I’ll write more tomorrow. I don’t even think I posted about DragCon here! Such a travesty!
P.S. One other travesty is that we had to close up our trailer for the season an entire month early! I can’t travel for more than one hour in a car for the next four weeks because I have an elevated risk of blood clotting. The trailer is two hours from home. I asked if I couldn’t just drive an hour then pause and go shopping or whatever and then do the next hour-long leg. She said no because if something goes wrong with me, she wants me to be near where she can help me. Makes sense. I’ll just go up there a shitload next year. Waaaaaah!
Lately, Kristyn and I have been burning the candles at both ends plus the middle too. In the first half of this year, we set some things in motion that got stalled because of Pride and then picked up immediately following.
Firstly, I’m talking about my Gastric Sleeve surgery. I’ve now done everything that I know that I have to do. I’m waiting on the results of the Endoscopy I got last week. I should be getting those results mid-week and then I’ll find out if I’m cleared for surgery (with regards to my upper GI). I think that if I am cleared for surgery, that I’ll have to get an EKG and a physical to make sure that I’m actually cleared for surgery health-wise. They said that the soonest I could be scheduled is mid-September which is pretty close. If I have to fix anything about my upper GI (like take medication etc), that could add time. We’ll see. I’m getting excited and I just want to get it done already.
Secondly, I’m talking about getting licensed for the Foster to Adopt program in the State of NJ. For the past few years, we’ve been working on becoming parents. For at least a year, we were working with a fertility clinic to get approved so that I could get inseminated OR so that we could do IVF. This isn’t because either of us have any known fertility issues but mores just because we’re a same sex couple and apparently OBGYNs will no longer inseminate and instead refer you to a fertility clinic who puts you through the LSATs before they’ll “allow” you to inseminate. That whole process pissed me off. We went in wanting to inseminate but allowed ourselves to get upsold to reciprocal IVF which added on a battery of tests for both of us; genetic testing, mental health counseling, bloodwork, ultrasounds, dietitians, perinatal doctors, etc. But then it never resulted in getting anything done! Because I’d be the one to carry, my BMI was a “problem”. What I didn’t know when I started was that this fertility clinic (ahem RMA ahem) has “high standards” meaning that they make their clients jump through an insane amount of hoops before they’ll allow you to try to conceive a) for your own sake – so that the chance to conceive is the highest b) but also for their own numbers – they don’t want to report no failures.
Late in 2018, I walked out of their clinic after getting a second opinion from a different branch. Until I lost weight and got into the BMI range they wanted, they wouldn’t work with me. Mind you, I wasn’t far from it but wasn’t able to lose the weight. Also, the perinatal doctor they sent me to recommended bariatric surgery as had my GP to treat my sleep apnea. I was pissed.
On the way home from that second opinion, I immediately emailed a friend who works for DCPP to ask for advice and sent a few emails to addresses listed on the site’s Foster to Adopt site. I’ve always been interested in adopting and figured that I would at some point. I’d actually been researching it alongside fertility treatments. I decided to give it a shot. So now since late last year/early this year, we’ve been put through a separate set of hoops for this. We had to do a class that was every weekend for a month; very interesting. We had to get certification from the vet that our pets were inoculated (and had to get them inoculated in some instances). We had to get them registered with the town. We had to get physicals done, bloodwork drawn, drug testing, answer invasive questions about our personal lives, get referrals from our jobs, referrals from people in our lives, mental health referrals, referrals from our doctor, monthly visits from a social worker, give information on our finances, create a family book that shows photos of both sides of our families and the people in our lives, provide information about our car, write up a list of parenting books we intend to read, write up a plan for what happens in an emergency, and the list goes on. We’ve done all the personal things and are SO CLOSE to getting that part signed off on.
NOW we’re in the final stages where we are having to fix our apartment up. We had to get the ceiling in the living room fixed, any cracks or little holes in the plaster walls patched up and painted (this is an old house), hallways cleared out, etc. We have exposed pipes that lead from the basement to the apartment upstairs in every single room so we need to cover them. No extension cords, specific rules about the placement of fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, etc. Honestly, we’re doing more than they’re probably going to ask for. We’re taking the opportunity to paint all the rooms and pull up the old carpet. It’s a slog; slow going and a ton of work that we do not really have the energy for. We keep over-estimating what we can get done in a day which leads to inevitable disappointment but we just have to keep our eye on the prize.
So far, we’ve spackled, primed, painted, and pulled up the carpet in one bedroom. We have a railroad apartment so we have three bedrooms; one leading into the next. This means that we had to empty one room, get it all done, then empty the next room into the first room. So that’s where we are. We had our bedroom in the second room. Now we moved it to the first room and the second room is finally empty, the walls are cleaned, and spackled. Tonight, we will prime the walls at minimum. Hopefully we can get them painted too.
Also, the living room ceiling is currently being worked on. It had an old drop ceiling that started to fall this year. Finally a tile fell last week so the landlord had someone in to come and pull down all the tile and put up a sheetrock ceiling. They have to come back to sand, prime, and paint. Our house is a goddamn mess because of all of this. It’s stressing me out and we haven’t been able to go Upstate to our camper for this entire month because of this stuff. We INSIST on going up this weekend though so that will be fun.