I just got my Halloween costume!

I just ordered my halloween costume! It's my dream costume (within financial reason). I'm going to be so sexy you're going to die. Well, maybe not die -- but you might pass out because you wrote me off as a few points of hotness lower than I'm going to be that night. Yay! AND I'm having a my first ever Halloween party at my apartment that night! It's going to be the best Halloween ever!

Erin, grab the salt and come over -- we're having nap day!

CNN.com: "Discover Your Passions :: Top Hobbies :: From watching TV to reading, photography and sleeping, tell us about your favorite pastimes."

Sleeping can be considered a hobby AND a passion? NO SHIT! I've found my calling!

Must help santa and the kool-aid man.

I've note been updating much here on how I've been doing, so here's a few updates I gave people in another forum (sorry I've not been here, if you've been checking.):

Well, today I felt OK. But now I can't sleep at all. I'm in too much pain to lay down -- too much pain to sit up -- too much pain to walk. I can't really figure out a position to get it to stop. I think it is the gas left in my body (that they use to inflate your abdomen for laparoscopy). My stomach, incision area is mostly fine -- just a slight discomfort -- but my chest and shoulders are excruciating. Ugh. Please pray that this gets better really fast -- like today

My moms been taking care of me all weekend and she's heading home in the morning. I'm feeling a bit better than yesterday, but I'm still hurting a LOT.

Just wanted to give yall some sort of update -- even if it's not much. The good news is I got out of the house today -- the bad news is that it made me even more sore.

I'm feeling very selfish and a bit depressed. I have no idea what I'll do all week and I feel bad for being "lazy." I'm also retaining water, which means the scale says I've gained weight. And even though I *think* I have not -- I'm freaking out about it anyway. A lot.

Thanks for all the prayers -- keep them coming please.

Thank you for all the support and prayers My weight is back to a normal range! Which was my biggest concern. I'm still in a lot of pain and very out of it (yesterday I opened the door to the UPS man and asked him what he wanted from me). I called the doctors office and told the nurse my concerns and she pretty much blew it off as some people think it hurts a lot. Which was nice.

I got out of the house last night and it made gave me so much pain that I swore I was glued to the apartment today. I'm worried that my pain pills are half gone. I hope I feel better today.


I know I said I wasn't going to go out today, but I did. Erin came over and watched a movie with me. She also brought me gummy letters so I could spell out curse words and vulgarities -- cause Erin is an awesome friend. Then she was like -- "would you like to go to the store to get out of the house?" Well sure I did, I needed to get a birthday card for my dad. Then halfway through the store I was like" "I'm sick now. I wanna go home."

I really didn't expect to feel this bad. So many people say it's easy and they're back to normal in a few days. Well, I'm sick and hurting -- not fair. :(

Today though I held back on the pain pills. They make me itch and they make me way crazy. So I took half a pill when I woke up and stuck to over-the-counter pain killers all day. I feel better. I'm sore and hurting -- but I'm not itching and crazy and falling-asleep-but-cause-pain-every-time-I-lay-down-cause-i'm-passing-out. I think this is an improvement. And like I posted there, I'm back to my good weight range. PRAISE JESUS! I'd rather be in pain than gain weight -- and I know thats messed up but it's true. It didn't matter how many people told me it was impossible that I gained 10 pounds in mere days -- I was freaking out.

So here's hoping that I get feeling better. I thought that it was going a bit far taking the week-off -- but I'm so freaking glad I did. I'm not in good enough shape to be out of the apartment for an hour -- much less all day. I want to see "Balls of Glory" which comes out tomorrow -- I really hope I can go see it this weekend :)

Ain't Right

I know I'm not supposed to be hurting that much -- but I am. It hurts. Much. I just answered the door to the UPS man and was so out of it that I asked him what he needed from me. Like what did I think he needed? If he told me I owed him money, would I have given him some? I ain't right at the moment.

Moms Gone :(

Mom just went home. I'm incredibly sad about it. I already miss her. I can't remember the last time I relaxed and let someone take care of me. I don't think I ever even let my guard down the last time I had surgery. And she was such a comfort -- she even made all my favorite meals and put them in the fridge for me to eat this week. And she held my hand when I was hurting...

I want to somehow thank her. She came all the way up here and slept on the futon all weekend to take care of me. I need some way to thank her. Maybe when I get all better, I can go visit and dote on her for a weekend :)

After Surgery

My surgery was this morning. Dr Facundus (the most awesome doctor ever), took out my gallbladder and looked around. He said everything (else) looked great but that my gallbladder was inflamed and full of stones. I'm told that my bile duct is larger than it should be -- meaning I've passed a few stones -- which luckily didn't get stuck. And since my gallbladder was actually inflamed, contrary to previous belief, that's probably what was causing the near-constant pain. I feel hopeful that this will have been the complete solution to my pain.

Today I felt better than I thought I would but tonight I'm in horrible pain. It's impossible to sleep. My abdomen and incisions feel reasonably fine -- just a little discomfort -- but my chest is killing me. This is most likely gas left inside me after the surgery (they have to blow you up to see inside you, you know). This is normal and expected -- but damn it hurts a whole fucking lot. No sleep for me tonight :( So since I'm up, here's an account of the surgery:

I was at the hospital at 7:40 with my mom. After my check-in and paper work and waiting, I was taken into pre-op. I stripped down and put on a teal hospital gown, super tight white leggings and little teal footsies to top it off. Over all, I think I wore the look well. (Though I feel the need to point out that getting the stockings on was near-impossible. I had to put a leg on the wall and pull them as hard as possible -- I wouldn't be surprised to find out that I spent 5 minutes getting into them. Of course they made my legs look excellent -- white, but excellent.)

When the nurse came, I was informed that I had to give a urine sample. So I tried. Hard. I've never been able to pee on command. I just can't do it. And the fact that it had been 12 hours since my last sip of liquid and that I peed when I woke up this morning -- well, those facts weren't helping matters. After 30 unsuccessful minutes, they decided to start my IV. It went perfectly for the first time in my life. Both I and the nurse were way too excited about it. Then I was ordered to go pee. On my third trip to the bathroom with the pissy nurse, there was someone already in it. So there I was pleading with the nurse in the hallway (holding an IV bag, a urine cup, and decked out in surgery garb) when Dr Facundus walks up all cheery like he's meeting me at church and asks me how I am. I told him the problem. He ordered a catheter because it was time to do the surgery. Joy!

I've never had a catheter put in me while I was awake -- and I have to admit, it was an unpleasant experience. Having someone finger all over your privates while sing-songing "where are you, little urethra" is not an experience I feel I need to have had. Take my word for it.

After that fun, I was wheeled to the operating room. There, I had to scoot over to the the bed under the bright lights. They strapped me down. It was unnerving. About 5 or 6 people in blue then pounced. They swarmed around me asking me questions and poking me and hooking me up to monitors. Then I was told that my urine test was negative. "Negative for what," I asked. Turns out I'm not pregnant. All that so they could know I'm not pregnant. Because there's really a CHANCE that I'm pregnant. So the morning wasn't going too well for me.

I am, however, pleased to say that the last thing I remember from the OR was getting the bedding rolled up around me like I was a human burrito. This was done by a nurse who seemed to take pity on me. It was more than comforting. I was reminded of all the times I've done that to babies and dolls and puppies -- and then I remember no more.

I'm told I was in surgery for an hour and a half, and shortly thereafter, I woke in the recovery room. This was fun. Just like after the gastric bypass surgery, I was mostly paralyzed and in the most horrible pain of my life. I didn't think anything that bad would ever happen again -- I was wrong. I couldn't focus my eyes -- I couldn't move -- I couldn't speak -- and it hurt. A lot. And I wasn't quite sure where I was or where in time we were or why this was happening. As I tried my hardest, I became able to moan -- or perhaps it was more of a muffled scream and I started violently shaking all over (I'm telling you, I was in a lot of pain). The nurse, bless her heart, was trying to help -- she was rubbing my arms and legs and telling me the medicine was coming -- then she was telling me it would stop soon...

And eventually it did. So I apologized to the nurse for screaming and asked for my momma.

After that, I was told to put on my clothes and while I was still totally out of it -- only about half an hour after I was stitched up, I was being sent home and shuffled into the car. I'm really glad they didn't feel the need to observe me or anything. After my upper endoscopy I was in the hospital for almost 2 hours and given orange juice and they made sure I was awake and could walk. Apparently after surgery such measures are not needed.

I was home before noon. And the day wasn't too bad. There was discomfort but nothing I wasn't prepared for. Mom made me some soup and went to the store. Then she was furious when she came home and found me in the parking lot checking my mail. She picked up some dinner and we watched a movie ("Pan's Labyrinth") -- all in all a great evening considering. Then we went to bed. And now I hurt. A lot.

I get a week off!

Today my department at work donated enough time for me to take all of next week off to recover from my surgery. I can not believe they all came though for me -- and quickly at that! And HR is still counting the donated hours (I don't think I get to keep the extra). I was really moved to hear it. I mean they went down to HR and filled out a form to give away their vacation hours with nothing in return -- that's kinda awesome.

And that's really a big relief to me. I could probably go back sooner than a week -- almost surely I could -- but it's so comforting to know that I won't have to. And combine that with the long labor day weekend and I should be feeling fine by the time I go back to work. I know it's gonna hurt and surgery is bad -- but I'm really looking forward to a week off and my mom visiting for the whole weekend. I hope I'm not too snappy. I get "short" when I hurt.

I hope Dr Facundus finds the problem -- but I hope it's not a horribly tragic problem that will be years to get over. Like I hope he finds a removable problem.

5 AM

I don't know if it was because I woke up hurting or what. But I just shot awake, thought someone was at the foot of my bed, and screamed my head off. Loudly. Had to get up and turn all the lights on and make sure someone wasn't hiding in my shower. Man, it's been a long time since I screamed. I forgot what it sounded like.

I'm hurting too. All day since yesterday afternoon, I've had a pain in my side. Feels like when I had a broken rib. No, I haven't fallen. And at the moment, my chest is hurting quite a bit. Enough that this is what made me go to the ER in the first place. And yall, I was brought up poor -- you don't go to the ER unless you are gushing blood or death is imminent. My body sucks. I want a new one (a skinny one, perhaps?).


I'm having my gallbladder out on Friday the 24th. Dr Facundus (who did my gastric bypass surgery) wants to have a look around inside and while hes there, he'll take my gallbladder (which is malfunctioning -- gallstones) out. It's an outpatient procedure so I won't have to spend the night and I should be able to go back to work on Monday. I'm not at all worried about it -- Facundus is a great surgeon and this isn't a horribly complicated procedure. It's like a scheduled nap :)

Please pray for me to heal quickly and for this to be the solution to my health problems. :)

Trade off

Well, I'll tell you what -- whatever is causing me so much pain is making me lose weight. Now if that's not a trade off, I don't know what is. I'm 180! 18 lbs since June when I posed my fat pant pictures -- 25 lbs since May! Woot!

I know I had gastric bypass surgery -- but that was 28 months ago -- you're only supposed to lose for 16- 18 months. And I had stopped losing at 205. But hey, I'll totally take this! Nathan told me he could tell I lost weight today! (Of course I've lost like 30 since he met me in October, but still -- he's a guy). Dude, my goal of between 160 and 170 is closer than I had resigned myself to getting. I mean wow, 180. I used to be 340!

A damn fine burger

I am an excellent cook. And really, I just get better and better. And anyone who thinks I'm not a great cook can shut it because I think it's one of my best talents. It's nice to have such a wonderfully useful talent. And one I can show off at that.

Last night, Chad said I made one of the best burgers he's had in a long time. Yep. You can now add a damn fine burger to my repertoire. And it wasn't a one off occurrence either. I made myself a burger last night that was at least as good as the ones I made last night. 'Cause I'm an awesome cook.

In Florida, me and my mom were watching Rachel Ray (because if I'm watching cable, you know it's Food Network). She was cooking with her stove-top grill that I always envy so much and I said this much to my mother. Then she pointed out that she has one of those that I can have! Yes! She's had a cast iron grill pan in the oven for years because she didn't like it. Well, I took that right on home.

I scraped the years of burnt-on gunk off it and began to season it with vegetable oil. I seasoned it twice with vegetable oil before I looke up seasoning online and read that vegetable oil has too low of a smoke point to use. So I pulled it out and smothered it in the only fat I had -- butter. Then I had to see if my seasoning worked, right? So I called Chad over for burgers. It worked. It's awesome. I love my cast iron grill pan. I can't wait to try chicken on it!

Go Karts!

Here's an excerpt to an email (with some minor corrections) I sent Erin telling her about my vacation:

We did go karts. I've never driven my own go kart because I was too young or too fat -- and lord help. That was terrifying and more fun than I ever could have imagined! I swear I must have had a look of pure elation. And I wasn't paying attention, right -- 'cause I was so excited. And I was in the 3rd row and they let the first row all go then the second and so on, right? But I didn't realize that, and in retrospect a free-for-all would not work out, but I didn't think that through at the time. So when I saw a guy go (in the first row), I floored it too LOL. Cindy was pissed that I "cheated" ;)

I have finished Harry Potter

I have finished Harry Potter, and it was beyond awesome.

Mom's still amazed

Mom just had to snap a picture of me putting on sunscreen this morning. She's still amazed at how much weight I've lost. I borrowed this bathing suit from my sister who wore it last year. I was sure there was no way it was going to fit over my head -- but there you have it.

BTW, it takes guts to post a picture of yourself in a bathing suit on the internet for all to see -- especially when you're as self-conscious as I am. Be amazed at the strength of Prozac ;)

Vacation day 2

7:30 -- Wake up. "Lament" the fact that I'll be missing work.

8:00 -- eat Thomas donuts brought back by Cindy and Mom. Best donuts ever -- we get them every year.

9:00 -- head to San Destin to shop. Buy lots and lots of things.

Noon -- Gelato.

2:00 -- leave shopping center -- grab Taco Bell to eat on the way home.

2:20 -- buy swim ring -- big swim ring.

3:00 -- OCEAN!

4:00 -- Get ready for dinner

5:30 -- Dinner -- I had steak, they had seafood.

7:00 -- Go to 4th store in search of Salt Water Taffy. Sucess!

7:30 -- pie. Mmmm. pie.

A Jelly fish just got my boob

If any of you ever wanted to watch me running from the ocean and falling flat on my face, clutching my left breast and yelling "It got me!" Well, you've missed your chance.

In other news, at the outlet malls in San Destin (we're staying in Panama City beach), I just got tons of clothes that fit! I got 2 pairs of pants, a pair of capris, 2 shirts, and a pair of new shoes! Plus a lantern for my bedroom. I'm so excited! We're about to go to a fancy resturant and I'm gonna wear a new outfit -- THAT FITS! I got a leather belt sized small, large tops, and size 14 pants. I'm so happy! Even if the jellyfish did get my boob!

Mmmmm. Pills...

Just incase anyone out there was thinking: "You know what Karen needs? More pills."

This is what happens when the doctor can't figure out what is wrong with you and the test he was sure would prove his diagnosis comes back perfectly negative. He gives you a blanket prescription of pills and tells you to come back next week and tell him if the pain's still flooring you. I can't wait to see Facundus and see what he says. *sigh* At least I'm well medicated, I guess.

Feel Better

Since I spent yesterday at the hospital, I missed work. These flowers were on my desk when I got back this morning. How incredibly sweet is that? I was really just touched that one of the girls in my department bought me flowers. I hadn't even told her I was unwell or having tests done at the hospital. People are so wonderful!

My life

Crystal snapped this picture of me while I was scanning some photos. I thinks it's funny because of how many aspects of my life are captured in it. There's my bike, my dinning room table, both my kitties, my computer, a Third Day T-Shirt, a photo I took in Germany, and of course -- my computer.

Best frozen pizza ever.

So I'm trying to rid my fridge of all the contents that will go bad while I'm on vacation. And tonight I was in a mood for pizza. So I pulled out a frozen original crust pepperoni Red Baron (my favorite of the frozen pizzas). I picked off all the pepperoni and covered it in leftover spaghetti sauce. Then I covered that in leftover mozzarella cheese and replaced the pepperonis. Best frozen pizza ever. It's like homemade but easy!

Update on random Chest Pain

So last week the gastroenterologist put me on Nexium and decided that all the pain I'm having is NOT related to all my gallstones and that I merely have acid reflux. Well, I knew that was bullshit and now I've been proven correct.

Today my friend Erin escorted me to the hospital so I could be put to sleep and have a camera shoved down my throat to check out my belly and upper intestines. I'm really pleased to hear that everything looks perfect -- a perfect gastric bypass! I'm thrilled to know that after 2 years, I've still not had a complication from it. Oh and that I don't have acid reflux.

What do I have? Well, I'm still damn convinced that it's all my gallbladder. The hot gastroenterologist is not. He says that the gallbladder would not because the pain in my side nor would it cause the random attacks of intense chest pain. I, however, am very convinced. He has no fucking clue what's causing all the pain.

For now, he's doubled my dose of Nexium, prescribed another medicine to take before every meal and before bed and given me some soft muscle relaxers to dissolve under my tongue when I have an attack. I really hope those smooth muscle relaxers work. Monday (or was it Tuesday) I had to spend an hour in the bathroom at work in excruciating pain with like 3 women over me asking if there was anything they could do to help. I can't be spending hours in the bathroom at work all the time. I don't think my boss would like that.

The doctor wants to see me next week, but as I'll be on vacation, I'll see him again the week after that. I also have an appointment with my surgeon that week who might be able to shed some light on it. My gastroenterologist was not keen on me seeing a surgeon when I first came to him, but after my endoscopy came back perfect, he asked me if I had made an appointment (even though he still feels SURE that it's not my gallbladder).

I hope I don't get a lot of attacks while I'm in Florida. That would suck.

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