Tag Archives: praying

WLS Chronicles – HELP!!!

28 Feb

There are a ton of resources for weight loss surgery.  The FIRST one you should listen to is of course your medical team.  But once you’re not at the physician’s office – where do you turn?  It was (and is) a combination of things for me, so I thought I’d share.

APPS

  • Baritastic – This is a great food journaling tool.  You can also set reminders here for taking meds, for drinking liquids/proteins, and for taking vitamins.  I hear that some doctor’s will be integrating with it in the future so they can receive your activity and monitor while suggesting/commenting on your habits/choices.  I think that would be WONDERFUL.  Accountability is an amazing tool.
  • Monitor Your Weight – This is a very simple app that tracks your weight.  You enter your starting weight and target weight (height, age, gender) and it provides BMI info.  When you weigh, you log your stats and it calculates your new BMI, pounds left to target, how much you’ve lost…etc.  VERY simple but the graphing and info is probably my favorite of all weight loss apps (and I’ve tried SO MANY!)
  • BariatricPal – This is more of a forum-based app that connects you to others going through the same experiences.  To be honest, I didn’t use this one much as it has SO MANY members and forums that it was overwhelming for me.
  • Lose It – I have used this app for years.  The free version is pretty simple and great for food journaling and weight tracking.  Personally I used this one for a while until I found Baritastic and just found that it served the purposes of tracking protein better for me.

There are tons of other apps but the above are the ones that I found worked for my journey.  In addition, many surgeons have their own app as well with recipes and tips!

 

SUPPORT

  • My number one support was prayer.  Knowing that I was praying for God’s will to be done in my life and my health has helped me more than anything else.  When you are submitting to His will, you are not praying to lose weight or to be approved for the surgery…you are praying for God’s will be to revealed in your life.  You are giving it all to God and, in doing so, knowing that He will equip you for the journey He sets you on.
  • Support also came in from my family in a huge way.  My husband and I talked at length about this and we prayed together too.  My parents and my in-laws all were rooting me on.  My kids were all excited about their Mom feeling better and ready to help however they could.  My closest friends knew I was going to start the process and were with me all along the way.  It has been wonderful to have cheerleaders in this process.  I can’t imagine having someone be negative about this decision (to my face).
  • A very unexpected resource for me was Instagram.  I was up late one night and decided to search “#weightlosssurgery” and “#gastricbypass”.  I was AMAZED!  Other users were sharing what they had eaten on different phases of the pre and post op diets…they were sharing their solutions for pain/pressure/loneliness/protein.  It was ALL just what I needed.  I quickly created a separate account for this purpose and am still very active in it.  (My username is:  rnyftw – follow me to see what I’m eating or how I’m progressing!)
  • A recipe source OF COURSE was Pinterest.  I don’t even think you can say the word “recipe” without thinking of Pinterest anymore!  You can search by the type of surgery or the phase of diet you are on.  I created my own post-surgery board so I could easily pin to it.  It was very helpful.
  • There a zillion blogs on weight loss surgery.  The one I found the most helpful was The World According to Eggface.  She is 11 years out from her surgery and has been amazingly successful.  She offers pics of her “bento box lunches” and recipes galore.  She is the creator of the famous “ricotta bake” that SO many of us enjoyed during the pureed phase of life!  She also includes any tools/appliances that she acquired before or after surgery to make life easier and that helped me so much!  (BUY A MINI FOOD PROCESSOR, TRUST ME!!!)

I hope the above list helps know where to turn if you have questions, need inspiration or need to vent.  The combination of all of them have helped me through this journey more than I can say!

 

Patient Patience

23 Sep

To say that I’m exhausted from pain is an understatement.  Let me just give you a quick rundown of what’s going on….(and if technical, lady-business words make you uncomfortable – skip this one!)  I posted this ten days ago but updated it today 10/3/16.

April 2013 – intense pain and cramping during periods, had an ablation to help with pain

October 2015 – pain starts back up and surgery is scheduled, due to endometriosis

December 2015 – hysterectomy performed (partial, kept ovaries)

June 2016 – pain is back, but only in left side…checked for cyst – negative….GYN thinks due to endometriosis.  Suggests removing ovaries will kill estrogen and therefore stop feeding endometriosis.

June 2016 – Ovaries removed. No hormones prescribed so as to remove as much estrogen as possible.  Pain continues.  While performing surgery, notices there is significant endometriosis on colon.

July 2016 – Pain continues. Visits to primary care physician, GYN and general surgeon to discuss options.  Surgeon orders colonoscopy and EGD to check for any blockages or other issues.

August 2016 – Colonoscopy performed.  No blockages.  Colon is “floppy” but not showing any signs internally that endo has damaged.  Surgeon not convinced that endo is source of pain.  GYN is sure endo is.

September 9, 2016 – Follow up with general surgeon and he now wonders if pain could be from femoral hernia.  He checks and feels “something”.  He performs ultrasound and sees “something”.  Orders CT Scan.

September 20, 2016 – CT Scan performed and awaiting results.  Still waiting.  Not patiently.

I’m so hoping this pain can be a distant memory soon.  Until it is, I am just taking one day at a time….sometimes an hour at a time.  The pain is on my left side, is worse when I’m standing and appears for most of the time when I am standing/walking/sitting and if I am laying down it is more than likely THERE but maybe not as “sharp”.

September 26, 2016 – Follow up with general surgeon to discuss CT Scan.  He started to say the words that I dreaded hearing…”The scan did not 100% confirm….” and I have to be honest, I didn’t hear much else.  I broke down in tears and just stopped listening.  When he was finished I confessed that I wasn’t listening and he started over with “I still think you have a femoral hernia…” and that was enough to make me feel better.  He thinks maybe the scan didn’t show because I was lying down and the hernia could correct itself while I’m lying down – so he wanted to proceed with surgery.  While discussing the surgery details, he let me know that he wanted to perform the surgery using robotic assistance so that slimmed down the time slots and hospitals.  It would be at Rex’s Raleigh campus and the day was up for grabs (depending on who could proctor and when the robot rep was available to be on call).  He wanted to use this means in order to explore my abdomen/intestines/colon to check on the endometriosis.  OH YES…..I was so happy.  We scheduled the surgery….and then rescheduled (based on all of the above) for just 4 days later, Friday, September 30th.  I was so happy it was going to be on Friday instead of Thursday since Mike was in Boston but due back late Thursday night!  (To be honest, I would have still had the surgery, but I was glad I didn’t have to without him!)

September 30, 2016 – Surgery day!  Woke up at 3:30 to leave the house by 4:30 am.  Traffic was very light!  LOL  Getting the IV in……not easy.  This is just one of my arms and the other was as bad…I think they stuck me around 6 times.  When they finally get one, they broke my heart by saying, “Since your surgery is robotic, you have to have two IV’s.”  They quickly followed that up by telling me they would do the second one after I was asleep. (Thank you Jesus!)

20160930_205319

My Mom and Mike were there (my Daddy and in-laws were on MJ duty at a school program) and by my side until they took me back.  FAST FORWARD —

When I woke up from surgery, I remember being so scared!  I remember worrying right then that I’d still have the pain that has been my enemy!  I panicked and they gave me more oxygen as it had fallen to 91%.  After that, I was okay…got more pain meds…drank Ginger Ale, ate my graham crackers and got out of there!  I was so ready to be home and in my own bed.  I don’t remember much about the ride home at all!  Just that Mike checked on me and held my hand most of the way!

October 3, 2016 – It’s been a few days now and I have to tell you I’m really surprised at how much these incisions hurt!  They are bigger than my previous surgeries (and I mean my poor belly button has had three surgeries now in just 10 months) and feel more tender.  Getting up and down out of a chair or the bed feels a bit like someone is ripping muscle in my abdomen….but no big deal…ha!  I do feel better every day so that’s a positive.  The leg pain that had started as a result (we believe) of the hernia is GONE – praise God!!

I am so thankful for friends and family who have reached out, helped out and prayed diligently.  I may not have a large family but I have an amazing husband and kids, an awesome set of parents and in-laws and many cousins who have prayed and checked in on me.  I’m blessed.

I can’t believe all that has changed in three months.  I went from a workaholic to a stay at home Mom.  A relatively healthy 37 year old to a 37 year old hermit in chronic pain.  Making the decision to leave my stressful, travel-heavy job was a hard one but I am so grateful that my husband and family supported me in it so much.  There is absolutely no way I could commit to working at this point.  I’m thankful that I have always had a job, since I was 15 (shout out to Jimbo’s Grill and On Cue!!) and I have had amazing opportunities, met wonderful people and learned many things (shout out to pivot tables, vlookups and incentive programs).  The season I’m in now is one of waiting and being still and having faith.  It’s uncomfortable but I do believe that the Lord is with me and is guiding me through this.  He is giving me strength to do things that matter.  Homework with MJ, moving my oldest to college, getting ready for doctor appointments, cooking dinner for my sweet husband….the important things.  I am just learning every day to be a patient patient.  It’s not easy.

Stopping by Food Lion on a Sunday Morning….

23 Jun

Today I stopped in at Food Lion on my way to Sunday School. Reason? I just feel like where two or more kids are gathered……you need Goldfish!  🙂  While I was searching for these snacks that smile back…and I mean searching as I’m a Lowe’s Foods fan…I keep running into a family of four.  Two kids under the age of 8, Mom, Dad.  Dad is pretty upset at the meat selection at Food Lion and apparently wants the Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick Maker to all hear his dismay.  He is using every cuss word I’ve ever heard and certainly isn’t being shy about it.  The thing is…no one is really around from Food Lion.  He’s really just sort of complaining to his family.  His wife and kids are barely paying attention to him but he still goes on and on about the prices, selection and anything else that he feels entitled to.

I’m seriously embarrassed for this family but they look SO unaffected.  I found it so sad that this was their normal.  What if Dad creating a scene and cussing like a sailor was a usual Sunday morning for this family?  I tried to avoid them as much as possible.  However, I kept running into them.  Goldfish aisle.  Water endcap.  Frozen section.  And then, it happened.  He cussed, right in front of me…as I was in between him and his family for a split second.  He was STILL cussing about meat, mind you…not ME…but he looks straight at me and says, “Oh, pardon my language, ma’am.”  I nodded and moved on but clearly I haven’t forgotten it.  It just affected me so much that this man apologized to me…but certainly not to his kids or his own bride.  (I’m assuming they were married, by the way.)  The fact that he took the time to excuse himself to a perfect stranger, yet found it completely okay to act that way in front of his little children just baffled me.  I wanted to scream at him, “don’t apologize to ME, how about telling your kids you are sorry you can’t contain your anger? how about telling your wife that you are sorry for embarrassing her in public?”  Of course, I did not do those things.  I didn’t say those things.  I wanted to…and I still wish I’d said something…but to be honest I have no idea how this man would have reacted.  Instead, I prayed for them.  All of them.  I get that this act that I saw might seem like no big deal to most people but it stuck with me, stayed with me and I can’t shake it.  I feel like when God puts things like that on your mind, there is a reason.  Maybe they are going through something and need the prayer especially today.  I’d like to think there is a reason…but even if there’s not…I’ll be praying for the Apologetic Sailor for a while and his family too.

Change is good (Period. Exclamation! Question Mark?)

18 Jan

I don’t know if the title of my post is a question, a statement, or a cry.  Sometimes you think you want or need change and it’s awesome.  It’s just what the soul needed.  Sometimes you don’t expect it and there it is – BOOM.  It hurts, it’s awkward…it makes your insides ache.  Sometimes it just is.  It happens and you’re not happy or sad about it.  You just roll with it and move on.

So many people tackle the “new year” with such fervor.  Such hope and joy and expectations galore.  I just wish I could sit down with a large percentage of them and just ask some questions…why now? what have you been waiting on? what is different on January 1st that couldn’t have started June 2nd or September 6th or May 9th? is there some magical reset that takes place with the tossing of a calendar?

I think we all know that’s absurd. As adults we know that we can start fresh anytime.  We can turn away from the past and move on to a new path.  As a Christian, I know that I MUST turn away.  When you ask for forgiveness, you do so with repentance.  To turn away from the old.  That means you STOP doing that thing that you are asking forgiveness for.  Boy, if teenagers REPENTED to their parents wouldn’t life be simple?  If your husband REPENTED, would you not have a happier home?  So, what stops us?  Being human?  Being weak?  Being sinners?  I am so convicted this week about this.  I am so convicted about having a pure home.  I want this for my children.  I don’t wish to shelter them, no…but I do wish to have my heart softened.  To not make excuses.  To want the best for them.  To want what God wants for them.  To know it’s possible.  To pray for it.  To ache for that.  To remember…Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  It doesn’t say I can TRY…it says I CAN.

If you are reading this and aren’t saved, don’t know what it is to be a Christian or don’t know how to ask Jesus into your heart – please do reach out.  I’d love to talk to you and answer any questions you might have.  My email is mrsjmejones@gmail.com.  

Does God have Disney plans for you??

1 Jul

So, I kept a secret from my kids.  They didn’t know we were headed to Disney World after we moved into our new house….and I did quite a bit of planning behind their backs.  I wanted the WOW factor when they found out…I wanted them to LOVE it and to be SO EXCITED.  I have waited and waited for the time to reveal this surprise to them.

Disney

 

It got me thinking.  I wonder how our Heavenly Father must feel about the plans He has for us.  I wonder how it must be to know our future and know how much He can bless us?  It makes me feel pretty pitiful for ever going against God’s will.  To think that I’ve bucked His plans or wondered what He was thinking.  You know if my kids would have said “MOM, I’d rather have gone to Carowinds!!”  I would have been crushed.  I imagine there are many times that God wants the WOW factor for us and we give Him a groan or moan or anything-less-than-excitement.

May we remember that the worst of things that are happening to us might be the very thing that Christ is using to teach us a lesson of life or of LOVE.  His secret will lead to our joy if we just remember to see it that way and treat it as such.

I hope I can hold on to this and remember it tomorrow and the day after…and forever.  It’s so easy to complain but much more of a challenge to look for the blessings….are you up for the challenge?  I am!!!

Moving On

20 Jan

I can’t imagine losing my husband…or my daddy.  I have such emotion right now for my friend and her mom.  I can’t imagine the “what do I do now” feeling or the immense feeling of loss.  I know they are absolutely relieved that he’s no longer in pain, but I would imagine that they are also having that empty feeling as well.  I don’t know how you move on…how you go about your daily life and miss that person….how you sit down to dinner at the table you shared with them and they aren’t there.  The whole “time heals all wounds” saying would fall on deaf ears to me…it would almost offend me.  I’d want more time…more moments…just a few more memories.  Knowing that person is in a better place, of course, helps you with these feelings somewhat I’d think…but not having them present in your every day life has to sting so much.  I am praying so hard right now for this family…I love them so much and I know if there is any way they are going to heal, it will be from our Lord.  God bless them…

Save the people, Save the world

17 Jan

So my writing prompt today is:  How would you start saving the world if you woke up tomorrow with superhuman powers?

I don’t need superhuman powers to know what our world needs.  Our world needs Jesus.  Our world needs to know the love of our God, who gave up His only Son…for us.  To save US.  If we all, every one of us, kept that in our minds all day, every day…I wonder how the world would be different.  Maybe the shootings might end?  Would the deceit and lies and petty things and adultery and theft all cease?  If you thought of your sin as a direct mark or hit on Jesus – would it stop you?  Stop looking to be saved by acts or power or money or deeds and look to the One who can do it….Jesus.  Invite Him into your heart.  Pray this:

Father, I know I’m a sinner and that I don’t deserve eternal life.  Please forgive me.  I want to turn away from my past sinful life and turn towards you.  Please help me to not sin again.  I know that you sent your son, Jesus Christ, to die for me and my sins.  I also know that He is alive and hears this prayer.  I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from today forward.  I accept Your gift of eternal life.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

If you prayed that….tell me!  Tell everyone!  Welcome to the family….  🙂  Praise the Lord!!!

Election Affection

5 Nov

As I’m attempting to complete the NaBloPoMo blogging party…I’m using some prompts to keep things fresh around here and not just write about MONO!  🙂  Today’s is timely of course…and involves our fabulous election that will take place tomorrow!

What do I think about it?  I think it’s a wonderful thing.  I am so very proud to live in a country where we are given the right…the ability…the responsibility…the privilege of electing the official that will execute our federal laws.  I think it’s sad that some don’t use it…some don’t think it matters…some don’t agree with it.  I personally feel very obligated to educate myself on the nominees of local, state and federal offices.  I feel that I need to vote with my head AND heart.  I know that I need to use my own beliefs and hopes for our country, in order to vote with a strong understand of who and what I’m voting for.  It’s hard, with the negative ads from both sides…with the banter on social media sites coming from and at both sides…with the chaos that surrounds the nominees and sorting through it all.  When it comes down to it though, I pray.  I pray for each nominee and their families.  I can’t imagine what they go through, what they are up against.  I pray for our country and know that no matter what happens…who wins and who loses, that MY job is to pray.  I know who is in charge, in my Lord and Savior.  He makes no mistakes and He has His hands on our country, my house and my life…so I have peace in that.  Just remember….One nation…under God!!!!!  🙂

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