Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's Been Quite the Week...

Hello, again, Critters!!

Hope you all are well! Things are...interesting...around here, to say the least! Not bad, but not good, either, ya know?

Last Thursday, I had a dinner date scheduled with one of my best friends (she's one of the ones I was talking about in my last post). We've been trying to get together for dinner for the last three weeks, but for one reason or another, we just never made it. Despite the "severe thunderstorm warnings" we had been getting in the area all day, she and I were set on meeting for dinner. It was just rain, and we were going to meet at 6pm. It hadn't even started raining at 5:30, so I figured all was well.

I could not have been more wrong. Everything was good for the first 15 minutes of my 20 minute drive. When I turned on to the last road I needed to be on before turning into the shopping center we were meeting in, it was like the sky opened up and released all the water in the atmosphere. I could hardly see the front end of my car, and I drive a pretty small sedan. I slowed down to about 30 miles an hour (in a 45 zone), and put on my flashers, just in case. There were lots of other cars on the road, but luckily, everyone was being smart and driving slowly, too. The rain had come down so fast and so hard, there were large pools of standing water all over the road. They were hard to see, and with all the other cars on the road, even if you did see one ahead of time, there was really no way to avoid them.

As I was driving through an intersection that was in a pretty noticeable valley, I thought to myself, "This water can't be good. I'm sure I'm going to get water in my engine!!" Damn if it didn't happen almost immediately. Water came up through my air intake (located conveniently behind my driver's side front wheel) and went straight into my engine. The amount of water in that intersection was insane. The splash completely covered my car. My car stalled out roughly 500 feet on the other side of the intersection. I immediately texted my friend to let her know I was stuck, sent a message to my hubby to let him know to expect a gigantic car bill, then called my insurance company to set up a tow to get me to a repair shop.

I sat in my car in the middle of this main road for over an hour. My friend came over and sat in the car with me for a bit while we were waiting for the tow truck. People were coming out, in the middle of the rain, to check on me and see if they could help. It was pretty impressive, especially for rush hour in a town I wouldn't have expected to find nice people.

Anyway, got my car to the shop, and they said it should be fine in the morning, once everything had dried out. They were going to do some fluid changes to get all the remaining water out, then they'd give me a call and let me know when I could come get my car. 8:30am Friday morning, I got a call from the repair shop manager. My engine was toast. The pressure of the water that had gotten in the engine bent the valves, and there was absolutely no compression in my engine. Let me just say, that's a $3000 repair, at the cheapest. I don't know about you, but I don't have an extra $3k sitting around. I should, I know. Emergency funds are important. We've already used our Emergency fund for an emergency, and haven't been in a position to build it back up. At a complete loss, I called my dad to see if he knew of any good engine repair shops. He didn't, but told me I should call my insurance company and see if this was covered since it was weather related.

Thank God my dad suggested that. My insurance company is taking care of the entire situation!! The rain and storms (flooding in the area, too - didn't get that warning until I was already stuck in the middle of the road waiting for the tow truck) caused several issues in the area, which meant my insurance company deemed it as a catastrophe. By the end of the night, I was set up with a rental car (only paying $0.56 a day for that, thanks to my amazing insurance) and on my way.

Saturday afternoon, I put a coffee cup down on the TV tray next to my couch (we don't have end tables, we have TV trays), and threw my hip out in the process. Second time that exact scenario has happened to me. I spent the week confined to my couch since sleeping upstairs in my bed is even more painful than sleeping partially sitting up on the couch. I attempted to go to half of the appointments I'd had scheduled for the week, and had to reschedule the others. Some weren't changeable, though, because they were things like support groups and cooking classes that impacted more than just myself.

In these group settings (nutrition class and pre-op support group), I couldn't believe some of the questions I heard. Some of these people didn't know how to read nutrition labels on food packaging (isn't it common knowledge on how to read a nutrition label??), they didn't understand how to half recipes, or how to prepare foods and snacks ahead of time. I felt bad thinking it, but I couldn't help but think to myself it was no wonder these people were overweight. Several made comments about how they didn't want to cut back on sweets, portion sizes, or the fried and overly fatty foods currently in their diets. They didn't want to cut out sodas or alcohol. How are you going to expect your weight situation to change if you don't want to make the necessary changes?? Yes, I still have issues with certain things, but I know if I want my weight to change, I'm going to have to take initiative and responsibility to fix it myself. Weight loss surgery is only a tool. It is NOT a magic fix, and I can't stress that enough. I'll still come out of surgery as an obese person. I won't lose weight if I refuse to follow the instructions I'm given by the professionals. I'll make myself sick if I eat things I'm not supposed to. There are some things I'm not excited to be removing from my diet (sparkling water, coffee, and wine, for example), but I've been told why these things are bad. I've also been told after a year, I will be allowed to drink coffee/tea (caffeinated) again. If I can drink decaffeinated beverages immediately following surgery, that's fine, too. I like tea and coffee. I don't care if they have caffeine or not (yeah, "Caffeine Critter" kind of says otherwise). If these things are going to impede my success after surgery, I'm going to make sure they are gone from my life.

My problems lie in areas other than constant over-eating and making poor choices. My problems lie more in the range of not eating enough/often enough. I do make poor choices, but even when I consistently make good choices, the good choices do not outweigh the fact I only eat once or twice a day. My body's constantly in starvation mode, so it stores everything I eat, good or bad. Even when I try the 5-6 small meals a day, I don't see progress. My metabolism is pretty much dead, and the only way for me to fix it at this point, is some sort of weight loss surgery. Unfortunately, though, I'm lumped into the standards for overweight people - I eat too much, am lazy, and eat the wrong things.

The nutritionist gave out meal plans for each of us, based on our current BMI. I was given a 1600 calorie PER DAY diet. This "reduction in calories" is supposed to help me lose 2-3 pounds a week. I let her know I'm currently eating less than 1200 calories a day and am worried I'll end up gaining weight on her meal plan. She said I probably would, but I still needed to follow her plan. Are you kidding me?? I get that she doesn't have time to read every single chart of every patient she sees in these groups, but when someone comes to you with a concern like mine and tells you that both your PCP and Surgeon know the amount of calories you're getting in each day, you should probably take some time to review their information, see where they are, and help them from there. I've already gained 2 pounds since Wednesday, just following her plan. I'm not impressed, and not a fan of being marked as "non-compliant" because I'm not losing weight.

Thursday night was a protein tasting at the pre-op support group. All of the protein shakes they had contained Sucralose (Splenda, in a nutshell). Sucralose makes me sick. Had I known all these things contained this crap before the tasting, I wouldn't have wasted my time going. I spent the rest of the evening sick to my stomach and woke up with a headache from hell, which is what usually happens when I ingest that poison. I ended up sleeping until 5pm today in hopes of getting rid of the headache. I still have a bad headache, but it certainly is not as bad as it was earlier today. Stevia is the only sugar substitute that does not make me sick. Hardly any protein powders/drinks contain Stevia or Stevia extracts. I have a lot of research to do before surgery in order to find one that I can actually have, or I won't be able to have surgery. If you can't get in the required amounts of protein after surgery, you can expect to become horribly ill and potentially die. Not something I'm looking forward to.

Today's "Sucralose recovery" meant I slept through my cooking class. Apparently my husband woke me up at 4:30am when one of our cats was howling at nothing for over 10 minutes (he does that occasionally). Husband also woke me up when he left for work at 7. My alarm went off to wake me up for my cooking class. I slept through it all, with zero memory of any of it. I'm a light sleeper, and it's a very rare day that I turn my alarm off without actually waking up. Turning my alarm off even meant turning my phone over, putting in my phone's pass-code, and turning the alarm off. Kind of scary to think I did all of that without realizing it!

Here's hoping this next week goes better! I can't afford to miss/reschedule any more appointments!!


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