Wednesday, June 21, 2017


The most recent step in the journey towards weight loss surgery has been an Endoscopy. This is standard practice to ensure there are no problems with my stomach and gastro system. such as ulcers.

It was a relief to have the appointment booked as it indicates I am one step closer to receiving a surgery date. I'm hoping...hoping in a positive way....that I'll receive a call for a Sept surgery. There is nothing to base this on, just my own wishful thinking. This month is a year since I have begun the process. A year!

Now, you may not know that I have anxiety and panic attacks when it comes to having medical procedures completed. Once I walked out of a MRI when I found out it would include an injection into my hip socket.  Ugh.  I always think I am past this but then the panic lifts it's head and demands attention.

So, in the hospital for the Endoscopy, I thought I could handle it. After I silently cried on the drive and lectured myself and practiced breathing, there was a fragile state of calm. But then I made the mistake of letting a student nurse attempt to start an IV. My veins aren't cooperative at the best of times and under stress its always harder to draw blood. Of course, the Student Nurse, made mistakes with the |IV and it had to be redone.

Imagine feeling faint, the room turning black, intense nausea, and a sweet nurse who understood. It's amazing what a cold wet cloth and laying down will do for the psyche!

Still more amazing is to go in for a procedure and wake up back on the unit with no recollection of the process, just the initial insertion of the mouth guard. That is my kind of Endoscopy!

Waking up isn't pretty! LOL

I was pleased to find pictures of my stomach and gastro-intestinal system waiting on the bedside table. Seriously. To have a printed copy of the pictures and results readily available immediately is wonderful.

And so now, I wait again.

Friday, March 31, 2017


Oh, the glorious warm sun warmed us today, Melted some snow. Coaxed us outdoors and allowed us to ignore traditional school room schooling.

There were Knights by the medieval log pile. The sound of "swords" cracking at they hit one another.

Our muppet dog bouncing and leaping through the snow like a little lamb.

The sound of the electric sander  buzzing from the barn as a treasure chest is made.

Nails being hammered into logs in order to make a ladder. For Rhettlandia, I think.

Spirals made in the snow and filled with bird seed for our forest friends.

The odd snowball thrown and missing it's target. I need more practice!

Attitudes were warmed and initiative and creativity grew.

Some days the work books need to be forgotten and the sunshine, melting snow and forest embraced.

Surgery Prep Class

Surgery Prep class was a 2 hr Saturday morning spent listening to a RN and Dietitian explaining what is to come pre-surgery, surgery day and the first few weeks after bariatric surgery.  It was definitely interesting and enlightening. Thankfully, there were no huge surprises as I have been reading and attending other classes.

I am still in waiting mode and have not received a surgery date yet. The earliest would be May and the latest December.  Hopefully sooner rather than later, so that this journey can continue forward.

One piece of instructional information that I took away, which annoyed me, is the every reaching presence of big pharma. Prior to surgery a 3-8 week liquid diet will be necessary to shrink that fat around the liver, which is not news, However, the push of Nestle products is shocking, among other things. Ensure and Glucerna are the recommended liquid meal replacements. This goes against everything in my being as it is not real food. These products are a chemical storm of junk and offer no real nutrition. High protein meal replacements are the stressed by the dietitians, but Ensure Plus high protein is only 12-16 grams of protein. That's hardly high, Why not make our own? Or at least use a higher protein replacement such as Premier Protein which is grams per serving.

 Plus NESTLE People! Nestle is notorious for their unethical practices. Why would a program teaching good health support such a company? Ugh. I could really jump on my soap box here but it's redundant.

There was approximately 25 attendees of the Surgery Prep class and half of us have received a surgery date. Half were choosing the Sleeve and half Bypass. It was interesting to see those demographics. Of course, we all have our health reasons for these choices.

Currently, I am paying attention to what |I have learned so far and practicing these skills. It's so easy to slip into long used habits. Always a focused effort to make specific choices in all aspects; Mindful eating. balanced meals. food journalling, sipping water, etc, etc.

So my journey continues.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blood Testing Requirements

Today brought yet another doctor's appointment in regards to this bariatric journey. Thankfully it was just a brief meeting with my family doc to request lab reqs for Vitamin D testing. Vitamin D is a healing helper so it's imperative that my levels are in a proper range before surgery. This will also hint at if there are any absorption or nutritional deficiencies. Obviously, malabsorption issues are a red flag prior to a bariatric surgery as after surgery people have a greater chance to develop nutritional deficiencies. Therefore starting off deficient will cause the surgeon to cancel the surgery.

In Canada, Vitamin D testing is on the lock down. ONLY by special request and for very specific reasons. Why? Purely cost. The test is expensive so Health Canada ( I presume) does not want doctors' requesting the test all willy nilly. Province to province has different rules. In BC family doctors cannot request Vitamin D, only specialists. Here in Alberta, there is a special requisition form and the reasons are very specific as to why a request can be made. In fact there are only four reasons. Malabsorbption is one of them.

I can provide a week by week account of the changes I am making and the hoops I am jumping through to make this happen. But, is that what you, the reader, wants? Those of you that are following along, feel free to contact me behind the scenes.

Soon I will be attending a class entitled Keeping the Change. Tips and tricks on maintaining healthy change. This class is an elective class offered by The Calgary Bariatric Clinic.

Bariatric Humour
My immediate family is aware of the upcoming surgery. I was a bit nervous about telling the children but they are handling it well and are funny.

 The youngest wants to attend the surgery so that he can watch because it'll be interesting. Ha!! Um, no, you may not, Son.  Plus, wouldn't he be disappointed that it's 6 small incisions not a huge hip to hip incision?!  "Can I at least be in the waiting room???!!!"

The other son is excited but thinks it'll be weird having a slimmer mom and it'll take time getting used to me.

Honestly, hearing and seeing their excitement inspired me to keep going and reaffirmed that this is the best decision for me.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Backyard Friends

Oh how I love the Grey's. Today brought two to our yard. Two!
Life in the woods brings sweet visitors to our yard. Well, some are sweet and some are sneaky & take over the feeder.  One day I may be found on the deck, using the slingshot to wing ice cubes at that sassy, aggressive squirrel. 😉

Sneaky Squirrel snacking at Halloween.

Again with the squirrel, I wish the wood pecker would chase him.

Ruffed grouse dating rituals.

Wee Doe looking for snacks.

Fluffy little Blue Jay resting after snacks.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Gastric Sleeve

Well, step two towards weight loss and health gain surgery was completed today.
I met with the surgeon for the first time and the outcome is signing the consent for surgery form. A commitment to Gastric Sleeve surgery. It's real now!

Even throughout  the classes and appointments it is only now that this decision is appearing very real.

How do I feel?

Scared! This a lifestyle change of drastic proportions however the results will be worth it. The actual surgery and preparation and healing is what scares me. Did I ever share that I panic over small procedures such as MRI's that require a dye injection into the joint? That I walked out of the appointment?!  Oh yeah, super strong here and yet I have committed to Gastric Sleeve surgery!

Excited? Yes!
Relieved? Yes!

Energy, good health, lower blood pressure, free of back pain, free of sleep apnea, a fun, energetic, younger mom, wife and friend?| Oh yes, I am looking forward to all of these things and more.

The next step is two GI tests to ensure that there are no upper GI issues. Then it's waiting for the phone call with a surgery date. Three to nine months is the proposed timeline. It's a long wait, but when one is in the middle, the time is actually passing quite quickly.

I'll continue to share updates on this journey to good health and smaller pants. As well as details of the process with hopes that my experiences will help others make choices towards good health.

Today I weighed in at 271.4 lbs. Yup. There ya have it. With a waist circumference of 43 in. Whoa. It's bizarre to see these numbers in print and know they belong to me.  My BP was 125/86. This is very high for me. So, you see that making drastic change is imperative to improving my health.

Can you imagine the courage it takes to be transparent and open on this topic? It's not easy, my friends and it so very easy to judge myself, so hopefully you will find it in your hearts to not judge.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Wild Child In The Forest School

A component of our home school this year includes two days per week at Wild Child In The Woods Forest School.  What a blessing!

Forest School days are the highlight for Rhett. He LOVES it! Even throughout our mountainy, winter weather, he is the kid that must be strongly encouraged to stay in the Art Shack for warmth. The snowy outdoors is where Rhett's heart and interests lay.

As a Forest Wildie, Rhett is learning in an environment that resonates with his core. Outdoors, hands on, climbing, hiking, exploring, testing and in a small group of multi-aged children.  Some of the topics Rhett has learned about are Jupiter Rocks, building & using small machines, local forest life, trees and plants,long term flood effects on the environment, tracking animals, and of course, social skills.

When your child tells you "Mom, this is heaven." upon pick-up, it is beyond obvious that he is in his educational element.