Deluzy Has Moved!
Note: Go to the very first entry of this blog to find an account of the 8-month fight against my insurance company for coverage (which I ultimately won) and of life along the way. Embedded links in that entry will take you through different phases of that journey.I maintain a current blog about both my experiences with the DS after the first year and my life in general at The Further Adventures of Deluzy. It contains links to other WLS bloggers, related information, and lots of extras, too.
Please stop by!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I admit it. I suck at updating photos on a regular basis, both because I've never been a regular photo taker at any time in my life, and because while I certainly look thinner than I did 11 months ago, I haven't radically changed my look in any way since surgery. The update photos show progress, of course -- down 108 pounds, from 280 to 172 -- but I'm still the same me and I'm good with that!
Same hairstyle, hair color (more or less), mode of dressing (more or less). I'm fortunate in that I was pretty comfortable with who I was before surgery and even with how I looked -- I'd made my peace with being fat, and while I didn't like it, I didn't think I looked horrible, awful, whatever. However, my health was radically deteriorating, I was tired and felt bad all the time, and I hadn't made peace with that (thank God).
At 11 months out, I'm feeling really good. My one-year check-up is scheduled for December 19 in Delano.
Thanks for the suggestions re: blog hosts, by the way (see previous post). I'm looking into my options!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Let's hope Blogspot doesn't prowl around and delete this question, but ... can you recommend a good blog hosting site for me and my blog? I'm getting tired of the limited templates available here (which don't take full advantage of the existing screen real estate, so to speak), but I'm not a particularly techy person, so I do still need to rely on templates to a certain degree (I know enough html to tweak them a little but not a lot, and I depend on the kindness of wizards to get me up and running.)
I originally picked Blogspot because it was free, I wasn't sure if the blogging bug would stick with me, and it permitted unlimited image uploads. I seem to have joined the semi-permanent residents of the Blogosphere, however, and since I'm going to hang around, I'm now willing to pay -- something, at least.
Right now Tyepad looks good -- I know Sharon and Marybeth both use it. Any other suggestions? What hosts do you like and why? Is there any host that allows for easy portability of blog material from a different host? Or not? If there isn't, can I just post a forwarding address here, so to speak?
I don't usually ask for feedback here, but I could really use some. If I do decide to migrate to another host, I'll probably do it over my winter break (i.e., sometime during the second half of December).
Monday, November 13, 2006
At first I thought I'd just let the image be a stand-alone entry and left it as such earlier this afternoon, but now I've decided that's a tad cryptic as well as lazy on my part. Anyway, I culled it from an email I was sent by UFPJ today, and I'm happy to note that the demonstration for which it calls is scheduled for January 27, my birthday. A good gift, in my view.
But it raises an issue that I don't entirely understand, which is why this war with Iraq has not raised more dissent and protest in the past few years. To cut to the chase in arriving at an answer, my sister, who was in her 20s during the Viet Nam war, pointed out two major differences between Then and Now: 1) there's no draft at the moment, so it's still a volunteer army; 2) it's still mostly not middle-to-upper-middle class kids out there getting shot and killed -- Not Our Kids, as some might put it -- and so as long as the war Doesn't Touch Us, we won't complain too vociferously.
I think my sister has probably got it right -- but it's not a good enough reason for why people aren't stirring themselves. Now, clearly the recent election is a clear indication that some folks are getting sick and tired of the needless death and destruction, and that's good -- so I'm going to hope that it has set a new direction. And clearly there are folks out there who believe that war is just, that it's a Fight for Right, blah, blah -- in fact, here's a link to a comment on Ezpy's blog by someone who feels that a vote for the Democrats was a vote for "the terrorists" (a term I hate -- as if we can point to the terrorists, name them, and dispose of them according to George Bush's tidy little fantasy). I don't agree with them, but they certainly have a right to their own beliefs.
No I'm talking about those people who are more or less opposed to the war, think we're screwing up, but aren't prepared to make any noise or difficulty about it. Why not? Because you don't have a kid in the war? Because it's too far away to be bothered? Because it's just not that real?
I've got students who have children, spouses, and friends in Iraq, and that brings the experience closer than it would otherwise be for me, I realize. But it's real, it's happening, people are dying, and if we're opposed to the war and not doing anything about it, then we are culpable as well. We bear responsibility along with Bush and Rummy.
Pretty uncomfortable thought, eh?
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I complained a couple of months ago about being cold all the time, and while the electric blanket solves the problem at bedtime, it doesn't do much for me during the day. In desperation, I picked up some thermal underwear this afternoon -- the cheap stuff at Target, and only a top, no bottoms. I spent a fair amount on silk thermal underwear a couple of years ago, but I have a feeling that the synthetic fiber in the item I bought today may do a better job of keeping me warm. Suffice to say that I came home, changed into it, and pulled on a tunic sweater, and -- I'm actually fairly comfortable. We'll see how I fare as the night progresses.
(Okay, yes, I live in California, and no, I don't know what I'd do if I lived in a colder climate. Expire, probably.)
I've actually had a semi-productive, semi-relaxing weekend (hm, could the two be related? Perhaps when I combine getting work done with relaxation, I procrastinate and worry less). I'm done with work for the day, but I had the pleasure of writing a letter of support for a former professor of mine who's up for recognition and promotion, and it felt good to be able to do something for somneone who's done so much for me in the past.
(On a different note entirely and as a complete non sequitur, what's the appeal of reality TV? I just saw a clip out of the corner of my eye from Dancing with the Stars on Larry King Live, and not only are these people not Fred and Ginger, but the dramas they seem to concoct between the participants do nothing for me. Ah well ... it's a cheap form of programming, that's for sure, and the networks clean up.)
Rain is anticipated for tomorrow (yay! makes it feel more like fall, like the holidays), and for the first time in weeks I don't have to go into campus for meetings. I do have to prepare two lectures, but that I can do from the warmth of my own home or in a cozy coffee shop with my laptop. Under those conditions I'm actually looking forward to work, to the new day, and to the week ahead.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I'm not sure what the deal is, but I'm all over the map emotionally in the past week and feeling somewhat edgy, short-tempered, and impatient with all and sundry. Namely, with my loved ones, my friends, my students, and myself. Everything makes me feel snappish, and I find myself easily irritated. Yeah, that time of the month is coming, but give me a break here -- that's not it.
Part of it simply has to do with not that time of the month but That Time of the Semester: there's one more week until a short Thanksgiving week, then one of classes after that and then - wham! Lots of grading, finals, defenses of thesis proposals and theses themselves. In other words, lots of anxiety for all concerned, though more so for the students. My own look tired, I'm tired, and I think we're all overwhelmed by the prospect of the final push to the end.
Then, too, I realize that I'm getting emotionally stirred up by the approach of the first anniversary of my duodenal switch surgery on December 12. If this fall is hectic, it doesn't begin to touch last fall in any way, shape, or form for insanity -- when I was teaching as a part-time temporary lecturer at two different universities, going to Tokyo for a conference, getting all manner of testing done in preparation for surgery, and working up to the last minute so that I could get my ass down to Delano to have my stomach and intestines sliced and diced. It was an enormously stressful period for both me and my husband, as was the immediate post-op phase (though all went well), and some of those feelings are coming back right now, simply because the anniversary is approaching.
That said, it hit me yesterday how far I've come. I mean, in the back of my mind I've been feeling a little guilty for an increase in my carb consumption, which I know is contributing to an already-normal slow-down in weight loss at 11 months out. Mind you, it's nothing like it was pre-op, and for that matter it's still way below the daily recommended amount for the average American -- but still. If I can feel guilty about something, I will. And then I read something on one of the DS boards yesterday about Dr. Anthone's figures regarding average excess body weight lost at various points along the DS journey, and his figure for 12 months out is 70%.
I did the calculation (i.e., pounds lost divided by total pounds excess weight = % EWL lost). I'm at 85.7% excess body weight lost. At month 11.
Think about it. Yes, there are others who have done better than I, lost a greater percentage than I, more quickly than I -- but I'm well ahead of the average, and that's pretty damn good. And, in theory, I still have 7 months left in my DS weight-loss window. (Of course, one can and will lose weight after that window closes, too -- if one does what regular folks do to lose weight: upping the exercise, reducing the intake, and so on. It's just that folks who opt for WLS generally haven't had long-term success with the traditional approach to weight loss, so we want to make the most of our so-called windows).
More important than the weight numbers, though, are other numbers -- like, despite the fact that I had some chocolate last night, I woke up this morning, tested my blood sugar, and it was normal. NORMAL! This, despite the chocolate and the fact that I'm off all diabetes meds. A year ago I would have been in the high 300s -- on three different meds.
How amazing is that?! It's a fucking miracle, that's what it is, and I would do well not to forget it.
Now, I'm nervous about my one-year follow-up with Dr. K on December 17, both because I anticipate some nutritional deficiencies (there are almost always some at this point, given how DS patients malabsorb food) and because I'm worried about the fate of my hernia (i.e., I don't want it to have grown since the last exam, and I don't want more surgery). But whatever the outcome of the follow-up, I have to remember what I told myself going into this: that whatever health trade-offs or complications I'd be likely to develop as a result of the DS were going to be worth the certain stroke/heart attack/death sentence I was living under as a middle-aged diabetic woman who'd spent her life being morbidly obese.
I think my stirred-up emotional state is also exacerbated by an awareness of what a couple of different friends are going through at the moment, and there's not a hell of a lot I can do for either of them. One's going through a nasty divorce, getting emotionally involved with a still-married man, and I both feel for her and also hope and pray she's not traveling down a particularly self-destructive path.
(Okay, I'm speaking only about my own culture here, but what is the appeal of married men, forgoddsake? Why do women hold themselves so cheaply?! Aside from the creep factor that's necessarily present in a man who'd take up with a woman while he's still married -- and I know they're statistically in the majority -- why would you, as a woman, treat another woman [i.e., the wife] that way? Because She's a Bitch and He's Misunderstood? So what? That doesn't relieve you of the obligation to Do the Right Thing. I mean, I know my friend didn't go out looking for a married man, and god knows her soon-to-be-ex is a dickhead and she's especially vulnerable right now -- but on the other hand, how wonderful an ad for the guy is it that he'd step out on the woman who's still his wife, actually or emotionally? Sorry -- I'm pretty inflexible when it comes to the concept of fidelity, as my father was an abusive, womanizing asshole.)
Another friend, with whom I had a tentative plan today to go to the movies and whom I'd called at 9:30 this morning called me back, but not until 2:00 p.m., saying that he'd only just woken up. Naturally I assumed he'd had a late night. No, he'd just watched a DVD and gone to bed. Hmm. He's got a really stressful work schedule right now, and he also hates what he's doing at work (though I gather he gets to go back to what he prefers to do once this project is done). This isn't the first time he's slept in -- like, way in! -- and I kind of think the work situation and perhaps other factors that I won't go into here are causing a low-grade depression. As a result, I'm concerned about him.
Oh yeah, there's a third friend I'm worried about, too, who seems to get involved in serially monogamous relationships that nevertheless come and go relatively quickly. Now, if that were totally okay with him, fine -- his business, and all that. But I think he wants to find a long-term partner, and so the serial aspect of his dating life strikes me as something of a bummer.
Bottom line? I can't live my friends' lives for them, and who the hell do I think I am, anyway? I find my own life challenge enough! For example, I've been a bit short-tempered and ultra-sensitive with my husband in the past couple of weeks as a result of the stress I'm feeling these days, and that's hardly fair ... I need to chill out first for my sake, then for his, and then for ours.
Well, I feel a bit better for having gone through the various current stressors in my life. Tonight my plan is to spend some quality time with my husband, relax with a trash novel, and do Absolutely Nothing Productive. Ah, bliss. Tomorrow I'll need to do some work, but much of it can be done at a cafe, and so I'm going to count my blessings tonight and focus on what I have to feel grateful for, rather than stressed about.
Okay, my cousin sent me this, and as I began to watch it, I thought, "Gag." (I'm not a touchy-feel person.) And then, as I continued to watch, I got a little choked up -- especially given the current climate of death and destruction overseas and dissension at home.
We could use a little more of this. The music by Sick Puppies isn't bad, either.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
There may be hope yet -- although do the Democrats need to get a coherent game plan and identity together before 2008 or what?! Still, for tonight I will be happy.
Okay, Ezpy's Political Entry from today is just so good I have to link to it -- you go, girl!
That's what I'm trying to do here as I take a moment in my office to come down from the day. There's a crick in my neck and I'm feeling stressed, but really, I don't have that much left to do tonight. Grade the 7 remaining papers I have, get up early tomorrow to record the paper and midterms grades in one of my classes, and then head to school -- where all I'm doing tomorrow is showing the second half of a film and meeting with a smart grad student.
I can do that.
I've designated the few Fridays that remain in this semester as my own Research Days -- not to be disturbed by student- or teaching-related matters. I'm looking forward to that, I have to say.
And I'm beginning to look forward to Thanksgiving, too. For the first time in my life, I'll be having Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant -- my choice, actually. My husband, my oldest pal in the world, his partner, and I will dine at a lovely restaurant with what looks like a tasty and traditional menu; I've eaten there before, and it's enjoyable -- casual but still nice. Given my hectic schedule, I just didn't want to wipe myself out with putting on a production for guests, and I didn't want my friend to have to do that, either (he has his own work deadlines that he's facing). Of course, I still plan to put a (small) stuffed turkey in the oven the day before so that my husband and I will have leftovers for sandwiches and such, but that won't be too time-consuming, and the smell of a roasting turkey practically defines the holiday season for me!
Okay, time to pack up, head home, and put in one more push on those papers. Fortunately, my husband is cooking dinner. Bacon and eggs -- but hey, it works for this DS patient!
Whaddya know? There is a God in heaven ...
- Explain what ended your last relationship.
Lack of interest on his part.
- When was the last time you shaved?
Er, a while ago.
- What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Surfing the Web.
- What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Surfing the Web -- that's what I do first thing over coffee: review email, catch up on news, read my regular blogs.
- Are you any good at math?
To put it succinctly, no. Major no. I know exactly enough math to balance my checkbook and, after laborious calculations, figure out student grades -- if I'm lucky. That's it.
- Your prom night?
What prom night?! Never had one.
- Do you have any famous ancestors?
Famous famous? No.
- Have you had to take a loan out for school?
In the final years of my dissertating period in Los Angeles, yes. Still paying them back.
- Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile?
Uh, I'm 45, not 16. I don't have a myspace profile.
- Last thing received in the mail?
- How many different beverages have you had today?
2 - coffee and a Pure Protein shake.
- Do you ever leave messages on peoples answering machine?
Always, if voice-mail counts.
- Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
Tina Turner, only a few years ago.
- Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
- What was the most painful dental procedure you have had?
Root planing (cleaning).
- What is out your back door?
A wilderness of a back yard. Looks like hell, but my husband loves it.
- Any plans for Friday night?
Not working -- that's pretty exciting right there.
- Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
You mean pull my very few hairs out by the roots, given the wind there? That would be no.
- Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
No -- and please don't give me one.
- Have you ever been to a planetarium?
When I was a child.
- Do you re-use towels after you shower?
Always. To the point of mustiness. Doesn't everyone?
- Some things you are excited about?
- My evolving book project and proposal. My collar bones. My new glasses that are being prepared now.
- What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?
I avoid Jello.
- Describe your keychain(s)
Lots of keys for campus, home, cars. Borders and GNC store swipers. 10% Weight Watchers key chain.
- Where do you keep your change?
In a piggy bank on the window sill of my study.
- Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
Open, so that the kitties can come and go freely.
- Did you read this far? Consider yourself tagged.