Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I am doing better each day. My ability to swallow solid food is fairly good but my ability to swallow liquids comes and goes. On a really good day I can take sips of water with only moderate concentration and sips of nectar with mild concentration. What I wouldn't give to be able to just chug a glass of ice cold water!

My voice is still very hoarse and every now and then I get a hint of the breathiness I was told would follow but still no spasms. I was searching for a bowflex treadclimber for us and got a bit carried away and called one of the sellers. I think my voice startled him a bit, there was some stammering and stuttering while he tried to decide if it was a prank call or not so I decided maybe I should let Lisa make phone calls to strangers for awhile.

My energy level is slowing returning. I have started walking again every day. Not as far and fast as I was pre-surgery but I increase it a bit each day. I am loving this fall weather, even the wind felt good to me this morning. I was disappointed then the Dr told me no vigorous exercise for 2 weeks but am realizing that it would be impossible anyway.

When I came home if I had been asked if the surgery was worth it my answer would have been an unequivocal NO! Today my answer would be - yes, it was worth it but I am so glad I don't have to make the choice to repeat it.

When I came home I was 11 lbs lighter than when I went in for surgery. I expect a great deal of that is water weight but I hope to be able to keep some of it off. Lisa and I have both done well making healthier eating choices since the HCG diet. Right now I am down about 16 lbs from when I started the diet, it's nice to have my clothes fit looser and the eating part really hasn't been a challenge.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Surgery

I checked into UCLA Medical Center just before 9:00 AM on Tuesday, October 19 and went in for surgery around 11:30. I don't remember what time they started bringing me around but I believe it was around 5:00 PM. I don't remember much other than that my throat was really sore and heavily bandaged. When they got me settled Lisa came to the room and said she had talked to Dr. Berke and he said the surgery had went well. When I went in he was unsure if he would be able to do the bilateral surgery or have to settle for unilateral due to possible scar tissue from my previous thyroplasty 2 surgeries. Even though the recovery time is longer for the bilateral that was my choice if he could do it - I didn't want to have to have any re-dos.

I was feeling fairly good until around 7:00 when I asked for pain medication. They put it into my IV, Lisa helped me to the bathroom and I was immediately nauseous and barely made it back to the bed. I don't know if it was the pain medication or the anesthesia but I was sicker than sick for the next 36 hours. Swallowing was a huge challenge, I knew I would never get a vicodin down so they brought me some liquid tylenol with codeine, the first tiny sip I took of it I almost drowned myself. My nurse mixed it with applesauce for me - that is how I took all pills for the next 2 days. Everything I ate made me deathly ill. It's a good thing they were still pumping fluids into me because I couldn't drink anything. They told me I wouldn't be able to go home until I could eat and drink thickened liquids on my own so that became my goal. It felt like every swallow that went down stuck just below my breast bone and went no further - every tiny movement made me want to throw up but I didn't have anything to throw up and was afraid if I did I would split my throat incision open. I prayed, I meditated, I conjured up and relived every good childhood memory I could think of. I thought of thing my Mom had gone through with heart surgery, my brother with his recent liver and kidney problems, my 2 uncles with their cancer treatments and knew if they could do it then I could too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What Am I?

I can't really be called middle aged because most people don't live to be 106 - on the other hand I don't feel like I qualify for elderly either so, what am I?

Monday, October 4, 2010

The "Talk" and Other Stuff

I have spent two days reading the uproar following the conference talk by BKP. I think what I feel is more of a sadness than outrage or anger. It makes me sad to know that most of my family listened to the talk and I wonder what affect it had on them. My relationship with my family has been so good through out all of this. No one has ever made me feel like I just didn't try hard enough - if anything I have been harder on myself in that area than my family has. I worry about the effect this talk will have on gay friends I love who are trying to remain in the church, those who are already struggling with guilt over who they are. I remember when I used to listen to GC, I used to cringe when BKP would get up to talk. I guest mostly, and I feel a bit selfish even saying this, I am glad I am at a place in my life where this doesn't have the ability to send me off into despair the way it once would.

I know I have mentioned this before but - I love where we live. I love watching the fields as they go through a crop cycle. I love it that I can tell what is being harvested as I ride by on my motorcycle. In June the air smelled like strawberries, lately it has smelled like peppers, not sure what kind but it's a red pepper that is used to make hot sauce. I also see fields of butternut squash almost ready to harvest. It amazes me that they grow several different crops on the same plot of land throughout the year. Once one harvest done the field is plowed under and the cycle starts all over again.

I am going to have to dig out some of my old hobbies. With Lisa gone working during the day I find myself not knowing what to do so I have a tendency to just sleep or lay on the bed. I will have to go back to making quilts or even cross stitching! One of the side effects of the HCG I really miss is the energy the drops gave me.

2 weeks from tomorrow is my surgery. That means I have to stop taking everything that could possibly act as a blood thinner, aspirin, excedrin, advil, vitamin e, etc. I try to think about the surgery a bit every day but not so much that I freak out about it. I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the recovery period which, I fear, is going to be much longer, harder, and frustrating than I want it to be.