Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Layout And Surgery News....

Walt Learning To Dance The Hula In Hawaii!!

Hey Ya'll,

Well, today I made it to my MRI appointment, and as usual it was not my favorite thing to do, since I am claustrophobic!!  Thank goodness for Open MRI's!!!  LOL  Walt ended up having to drive the Truck today for sure, as it was snowing this morning and riding the Bike wasn't safe.  So he picked me up an hour EARLY for my appointment!!

Since I was early, they offered me to go in immediately for a regular MRI, aka a Closed MRI machine!!  Even though this would mean that I wouldn't have to wait, I wasn't going to go Head first into a NARROW TUBE (just trying on Walt's full face Helmet last year to see if I liked it, I was screaming to get it off within seconds)!!  LOL  The first MRI I had, was in a Closed MRI machine, as Open MRI's hadn't been built yet.  And luckily for me, that MRI was of my Lower Spine, so I went in Feet first, and my Head was just inside of the Tube.  So with me being able to see the light of the room, not to mention the was bearable.  But no way could I do it Head first!  So I declined their kind offer, and waited for my regular appointment.

When I was finished, (knowing full well he wouldn't give me any information) I asked the Technician if he could see any damage in the Discs.  And of course, he immediately said that he wasn't a Doctor, and was not able to give me any Medical information, or advice....well, at least I tried.  So I asked him when my Doctor would have the results, expecting him to say within the week.  But he said that if she has the ability to go online, she could see the results immediately!  Or if not, then she would have the results within 24-48 hours at the latest!  So I am hoping to get the results from our Doctor this week....I can hope can't I???

So, now for my other Medical news....yesterday, I decided to call my Bariatric Surgeons office, to see whether my Surgery approval was received yet from my Insurance Company.  I spoke with the Trace, who is the office Insurance Specialist.  She looked my case up on the computer, and couldn't believe that I had fallen through the cracks!!  Meaning that she had sent a request to the Doctor for info on my case, so that she knew exactly what kind of Surgery approval she was requesting from my Insurance....He never responded, and she forgot to follow up, so all was forgotten until I called yesterday!

So I gave her the information again, that I only wanted to have the Band removed, and that I have decided not to have the Bypass Surgery that Dr Kozar was planning on doing at this time.  So she promised that she would get the request to the Doctor immediately, and get me some answers soon.  She called me back later yesterday, to advise me that she did request the information, and was expecting an answer soon.  A bit later (still yesterday), Dr Kozar himself called to apologize that the miscommunication was his doing!

After he saw me in the office on the 15th, and it was determined that my Band had slipped and needed to come out, he had me go over the other side of the office, where Laurie does the Fills/Unfills, for her to remove as much of the fluid from my Band as she could (which was 5 cc's).  At that point, he went in to see his next patient....and FORGOT to dictate our conversation and his recommendations!!  So nothing was done towards getting the Insurance approval started!!  So after apologizing for his error, we went over what we had discussed, and I told him that although he felt that I should have the Bypass done at the same time, Walt and I decided not to do it at this time.  He then promised to get this going asap!

So I figured that maybe next week, I would hear that they had gotten the Insurance approval started.  But I got a call (get this....) TODAY from Trace, the Insurance Specialist, saying that she had already been on the phone with my Insurance Company today regarding my Surgery, and that as we were speaking, she was faxing over my records to them for approval!!  She also said that pending Surgery approval, I have a "Tentative" Surgery date of March 8th!!  That is NEXT WEEK!!  So cross your fingers that all goes as planned and this gets taken care of.  :)

Now as for some sad news.  Our Son In Law's Mother, died suddenly about a week and a half ago.  It was very sudden, and she died at home.  We are fairly sure that she died of Heart Failure, as she had a bad Heart, and had some Stints placed about 10 yrs ago.  But apparently she had stopped taking her Heart medications, and also stopped going to the Doctor about 2-3 yrs ago.  So although it was sudden, it is not too much of a surprise.  Her Funeral Services are this Saturday in Sacramento, so we are driving down to be there for Mark, Christa, and our Grand Kids.

We also got some bad news about Walt's Daughter Kat.  She is only 29 yrs old, but has had major pain for some time in one of her Knees, from an injury she received years ago.  She has gone in multiple times through the years for the pain, but nothing was ever done.  But she has been having so much pain the last several months, that she went back in last week and demanded that something be done.  They did an MRI of the Knee, and found out that it is in horrible shape.  She will find out tomorrow whether or not they will do Surgery on her Knee.  She may need a complete Knee replacement.  So please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, that she gets some relief from this pain soon!!

So, now it is getting late, and I should go for now.  What do you think of my new Spring Layout??  I hope that you like it!  Unfortunately, when I changed it, I lost my Blog list, yet AGAIN!!  So I will have to work at getting it back in.  Unfortunately, it will probably take a week or two as I Follow around 300 + Blogs!!  So please bear with me if you don't see yours listed at first....Till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MRI In Eleven Hours....

Hey Ya'll,

Well, tomorrow I go in for my latest MRI of the Neck.  I have been diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis in the past, and we suspect that I may have damaged one or more of my Cervical Discs again.  We are of course, hoping that this isn't true, but I am having symptoms that shows it could be Degenerative/Herniated Discs.  So here's hoping that it isn't too serious....however, I would like to get rid of this constant pain, numbness, and tingling.

And of course, since I have to go back to the Imaging place, it snowed again!!!  So Walt will drive the Truck into work tomorrow, as it will only be about 20 degrees in the morning when he needs to go into work, and riding the Bike wouldn't be the preferred mode of transportation in this weather.  Then drive home and pick me up in time to go to my appointment.  I will then drive him to work on my way into the appointment, and pick him up after work.

Well, I know that this is short, but it is getting late, and since I need to get up earlier than normal, I need to go for now.  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

And The Doctor Said....

I somehow managed to capture the photo of this Bird in Hawaii on the Ko Olina property

Hey Ya'll,

Well, today I made the ride into town to see our Primary Care Doctor.  I have been having a recurrence of symptoms.  Well, actually, the symptoms have escalated and started to show signs of possible Cervical Disc problems again.

About 3 weeks ago, my right Shoulder began hurting, like all the time.  Then, about a week later my Neck started to hurt again.  I had gone through some pretty severe Neck pain last year where I wanted to cut the Neck off!  But my PCD thought that it was probably just old age Arthritis, so she prescribed Celebrex for me, which seemed to help a lot.  Until the last few weeks.

Then, about a week ago, I started to notice that I was having periodic tingling/numbness from my Earlobe to my Cheek, down to my Shoulder, and sometimes all the way down to the Elbow on my right side.  And now, it is happening all the time!  So I made the appointment, at first she thought that it was something that I should see a Rheumatologist for since it involved a lot of Joints.  But after telling her all my symptoms, and her evaluation of my upper body strength, she feels that it could possibly be my Neck.  So I am going to go in for another MRI of the Neck, to determine if I should go back to the Neurologist/Neurosurgeon, or back to the Rheumatologist.  I will keep you posted.

I believe it all started when I was a little girl (about age 9) (and this is a condensed telling without all the details).  I fell from the top of a swing set onto my Back!  I couldn't move from my Neck down for about an hour (I'm talking paralyzed!).  Luckily, the feeling came back in my body, but I have had Back/Leg pain ever since.  My older Cousin was babysitting my Brother and I, and our Cousins at the time, and neither she nor I ever told my Parents until about 10 years ago, so I wasn't seen by a Doctor at the time.....

Then, when I was about 25 yrs old, I had a roller skating accident while outdoor skating at the Beach in Southern Calif.  I couldn't miss a guy skating in a small group towards our group, and I just about broke my Neck hitting him Face first!!  It did break my Nose!!  But the Doctor's said that the only reason that I didn't break my Neck, is because for some unknown reason, my instincts told me to hit him Face first, not to turn my Head to the side, to protect my Nose!!  I have had Neck/Shoulders/Back/Hips/Leg pain ever since....

I eventually had to have 2 of my Cervical Discs Fused, about 13-14 years ago.  At the time the Neurosurgeon did the Surgery, he told me that by Fusing the Discs, it would probably cause extra wear and tear on the Discs above, and or below the Fusion, and that I could possibly have to have more Discs Fused in the future....lucky me!  But if it would help with the Neck and Shoulder pain, it would help a lot!

So, only tests and time will tell.  I will keep you posted, till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upcoming Surgery And Update On Parents

A Hibiscus Flower I photographed in Hawaii

Hey Ya'll,

I ran out of my Celebrex prescription.  Our Doctor wrote me a new one, but it appears that because of the type of prescription that it is, it has to be "approved" by the Doctor every 3 months!!  So even though she "wrote" the prescription, my mail order prescription company still had to have her authorize it!!  And of course, she didn't respond fast enough, so my old prescription ran out about 4 days the 2nd day of not taking it, I was in pain.  By this morning, I woke up hurting EVERYWHERE!!  My Back, Neck, Shoulders, Hips, Leg and Knee....not to mention a Headache!  So I am really hoping that it arrives in the mail tomorrow.  I know that the Doctor approved it, so I just have to wait for it to arrive! 

So, on to other I said in my last post, I went to my Surgeon, Dr Kozar last week, and he is planning on taking my Band out asap....I think!  At any rate, he was planning on removing the Band, and revising me to the RNY (Bypass) at the same time.  But after discussing it later that night, Walt and I decided not to do the RNY.  At least not at this time.  So I called my Surgeon's office the next day, to informed the Surgery Coordinator that we only wanted the Band removed at this time.  She was surprised to say the least. 

In fact, when she returned my call to advise her of this, she assumed that I was calling trying to find out how soon the Surgery could be done, and when she would be sending in for my Insurance approval.  She was telling me that before she could send for the approval, I would probably have to go back to the classes regarding the life of a RNY patient, etc, that she would have to check with the Doctor.  She was about to hang up....when I managed to finally break in on her talking, and say that the reason I had called, was to let them know that I didn't want the RNY!  LOL 

So she said that she would change the Insurance request.  I doubt that many patients do this!  So I am hoping that the Insurance approval is as quick as it was for the original Lap Band approval.  Once all my pre-qualifications were done, and she sent in the Insurance request, it was approved within 1 week!!  If this is so, then it could potentially be approved as soon as this week or next, depending on how long it took, or will take, Dr Kozar to write up the information to be sent to the Insurance Co.  So with this, I will keep you posted....

****We found out that our Daughter Christa's, Mother-In Law, died suddenly on Friday evening!  She was only about 71 yrs old.  But from what Christa told me, apparently she had a Heart condition, for which she had a couple of Stints placed about 10-11 yrs ago.  Her Husband had been begging her to go in to the Doctor, as she was looking bad, especially since it appears that she stopped seeing the Doctor about her Heart condition, once the Stints were placed.  So they are holding her Funeral on the 3rd of March.  So of course, if my Surgery is approved by then, we will make sure that we will be able to go to the Funeral, to show our support to Christa, our Grand Kids and our Son-In-Law Mark.****

As for my parents, my Mom is doing about the same.  She is looking a bit better and sounds a little bit better on the phone.  But she is concerned about her procedure that she is supposed to have done.  It has been over a Month since the Doctor told her of the procedure she needs done, and was about to think that they had forgotten it, when she finally got information on where and when she was to go.  Unfortunately it is in downtown Sacramento.  Which is about 30 miles from their home, and about a good hours drive, assuming traffic isn't too bad.

So she may contact my Nieces, Son's, ex-teacher, who has been through these types of tests and is also helping my Dad through his upcoming Cancer treatments.  She is hoping that she can get the procedure changed to a Hospital closer to their home, since my Dad can't drive her anymore, and it is a burden trying to get reliable transportation.  My Daughter Christa would drive her for sure if she knew, and she had the car available, but my Parents won't ask her.

As for this newest Medical Condition that she is getting ready to have treatment for, I finally found out exactly what it is, and I had never heard of it before.  It is called Paget's Disease of Bone, and she has it in the Skull.  Apparently, if she does not get the treatment, she will go Deaf in one and probably both Ears, as it is located on both sides of the Skull.  I also found out that there is a high possibility of this being hereditary.  If you have a Parent or Sibling with this Disease, then you have a much greater chance of having it as well.  It is generally not seen in anyone under 40, but if you do have a close relative with it, then you should start testing about every 2 yrs after age 50.  So now I need to advise our Family Doctor about this as well, so she can watch for the "possible" signs in future Lab Work through the years.

As for my Dad, he is getting worse!  My Step-Daughter Kat, went to visit with my parents today on her day off from work, and all she said was that my Mom looked better than the last time she saw her.  What she didn't say was how bad my Dad looked.  It didn't need to be said, we know.  I called them yesterday, and my Dad answered the phone as usual.  But what was uncommon was that once he made sure that I was doing ok, and he told me how much pain he is in again with his Shoulder and Arm, he gave the phone to my Mom.  Which is totally unlike him, he has always liked to talk no matter what he felt like.  So it appears that he is spending a lot of his time in bed now, as he was in bed again when I called him.  Normally he is in his recliner watching TV.  His pain appears to have gone up a notch again, as the pain meds that he was put on, isn't controlling his pain anymore. 

Unfortunately, he doesn't start his Cancer treatments until the 28th!  He was told that once the treatments start, the pain should begin decreasing.  But he has to wait until then, and then who knows how long it will take for the pain to start to wain.  As much pain as I have been in through my life, I truly wish that I could take some of his pain for him, so that he could bare it!  Keep good thoughts his way, he can really use them!

So, it is getting late, and I need to go to bed.  Till next time....

Aloha My Friends

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Big Shout Out To This One Time At Band Camp...My Story!!

My Photo

Hey Ya'll,

I just wanted to make a quick post to welcome my newest Follower!!  Her name is Sandi, and Sandi was Banded on November 17, 2010.  In reading Sandi's Blog, it appears that she has lost 50+ lbs!!  Fantastic!  So if you haven't already found Sandi's Blog, please follow this link and give Sandi a big hello from me, and all support we all need: This One Time At "Band" Camp...My Story.  So Sandi..."Welcome to my Nightmare"!!

Aloha My New Friend  :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What All Bandster's Fear...Happened!!

Hey Ya'll,

Well, the last 26 hrs has, interesting.  Since my Upper GI w Small Bowel Follow Through was scheduled for this morning, I was not allowed to eat after midnight last night.  Normally I don't go to bed until at least 3 am, but since I had to be at my appointment by 8:55 (am!), I knew that I needed to get to bed a little bit earlier.  So I set my alarm to wake me up at 6:45, and went to bed at 1 am. 

BUT...since it has been getting down into the 20's over night, I needed to go outside and plug in the heater for the Truck, in order to keep the Trucks Engine heated (kind of pre-heated) (otherwise, it wouldn't start in the morning), (we learned this the hard way last Winter)!!  And of course, it had just started snowing....we have been having reports all week, that we were supposed to get snow, and hadn't, so we figured that last night would be the same....

So, when I slipped into bed, I told Walt that it was indeed snowing (unfortunately, I cannot get into bed without waking him!), and since he was planning to ride the Motorcycle to work, so that I could take the Truck (as I do not have Winter Riding Gear, and it would still be in the 20's that early in the morning), I new that I was going to have to drive him into work.  Let's face it, there was no way that Walt was going to be able to ride the Bike in the Snow and Ice!  So....I got to get up a bit earlier than I had planned, so that I could drive him into work, then drive back home, jump in the shower, then drive back into town to my appointment, all before 9 am!!  Oh, and did I say that I woke up all night long???  I guess that I was having a panic attack about having to drive in the Snow!!  But I did survive! LOL

And of course, Walt had to stop at McDonald's for a breakfast sandwich on the way to work....he did offer to get me one, but...since I hadn't had my test yet, I couldn't even have a drink of WATER!!!  So I politely said no, but thanks for the offer.  LOL  So after getting home, and trust me, this was my first time to physically drive in Snow/Ice conditions, and I didn't like it at all!!  I had to really book it to make it out on time.  Whats funny, is the Reno area got more snow this time than some areas of the Lake Tahoe area (In The Sierra's!!).

Anyway, so I made it to the Imaging place for my Upper GI, and was expecting them to say that all looked well, maybe just a bit tight.  Then I would take the films to my Surgeon and they would agree to remove the Fluid in my Band for now.

NOT!!  The Doctor that administered the Upper GI, told me that he could see some food still in the upper pouch of the Stomach, and the Barium crap was barely flowing through it!!  This was deja vu all over again from last year, when I had to have the Upper GI....The Imaging Doctor said that since I hadn't eaten since the night before, I should not have had any food in the pouch.  Well DUH!

So when I got out of the Imaging place with my x-rays in hand, I texted Walt, since we were possibly going to have lunch before my appointment with my Surgeon.  But, he ended up having a meeting in a few minutes, so I just went and had about 1/2 of a Cheeseburger on my way into the Surgeon.  I got to my Surgeon's office early, and checked in, hoping to get in a little earlier, but he wasn't running early or behind, just right on I didn't get called back until my appointment time of 1 pm!  But, at least I can say that he is fairly punctual, we rarely have to wait very long at their office!

And like I said in my earlier post, I was TERRIFIED that he was going to ream me for gaining weight, etc.  And although he did reprimand me some, he was actually very understanding.  More so than I expected him to be.  He told me that we could remove the Band.  And at this, I think that he was waiting to see what my reaction would be.  I told him that Walt had asked me if I wanted to have the Band removed.  I told Dr Kozar that I advised Walt that most Dr's do not want to, or will not remove the Band unless there is a Medical necessity for it.  That they usually prefer to just remove the Fluid.

So, if you are still reading this....this is where it gets interesting.  Dr Kozar said that there IS a Medical necessity.  I must have given him a funny look, because I was not expecting him to say this.  He said that my Band Has Slipped!  Luckily for me, it was not extreme yet!  I am still able to eat and drink, but I have been having symptoms, that if we hadn't caught it early enough....well, those of you that have gone through it, knows exactly how bad that it CAN get!  Like when you can't hold anything down, not even liquids! 

So we began discussing options.  He said that the Band needs to come out.  So I definitely have to have Surgery.  He said that if we want to do a Revision Surgery, he can do the Bypass (RNY), or the Sleeve (VSG).  BUT!  If I want the Sleeve, he will not do it in the same operation as the Band removal, as he says the risk of Infection is much higher.  However, he said that he can and will do the Band removal, and the RNY in the same Surgery....

So before I could even think about it, he said that they would of course remove the Fluid from my Band for now, and start the Insurance approval process for the Surgery!!  So I am guessing that he wants the Band out pretty fast.  I haven't even decided that I want to revise to the RNY yet!  However, I am not sure that I want to go through 2 Surgeries to get the Sleeve either....I talked about it with Walt over dinner, and he said that it was my body, so it was up to me.  Although he still has some fears about my becoming Malnourished with RNY.  Although my Surgeon swears that it is not likely anymore, so long as I took my Vitamins. 

But I am not sure that I want to give up my ability to be able to eat what I want.  Just the thought of only being able to eat a couple of bites....I'm not sure I want that.  So I am hoping that some of my Blogging buddies that have undergone the RNY Surgery will read this, and give me some good feedback on their experiences, and recommendations.

And speaking of dinner....Laurie at Dr Kozar's office was able to get 5 cc's of my 7.125 cc's out, and I was able to eat about 3/4's of my In-N-Out Burger plus a few Fries!!  And it tasted soooo good!!  It has been since November 2009 that I have been able to eat a good Burger like that, without fear of getting Stuck!  So now I have to decide if I want to just have the Band removed, and become a fat, but happy woman, or go for the Revision Surgery to RNY!!  What a dilemma to have to be in.  I can really use any and all input!

Help!!  So with this, I will end this.  It is getting late, and since I didn't get much sleep last night....

Aloha My Friends :)

Image Gallery :

These images contain important information on Lap Band, Obesity, and Bariatric Surgery for weight loss.
A - The Lap Band
B - Barium as it sits in the dilated or enlarged stomach pouch above the Lap Band.
C - Notice the lip of stomach overhanging the Lap Band.
D - Notice a very small amount of barium sitting below the Lap Band in the main part of the stomach below the Lap Band. The flow is impeded either because the Lap Band is too tight around the stomach or that there is too much stomach coming up above the Lap Band.
Notice the depressed angle of the Lap Band. Normally the Lap Band should be sitting at at 45 degree angle in the direction towards the top right side of the image.


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Lap Band Slip Prolapse on fluoroscopy

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Spoke With My Parents...Oh My!!

Here I am on my favorite Motorcycle again!!  Hopefully it will be mine in a few months!!

Hey Ya'll,

Well, yesterday Walt and I met up with his son Russ and his ex-wife Carolyn, and her sister Sharon for lunch at The Outback.  We had a really nice lunch and had great conversation as usual.  Walt and I shared the Sweetheart Meal For Two.  Of course they screwed up both mine and Walt's Steak....I ordered the 6 oz Filet Mignon (upgraded from the Sirloin) to be cooked Medium, and it came back Well Done.  Walt ordered his Steak Medium Rare, and it came back Medium, almost Medium Well....Normally we wouldn't say anything, and just eat it the way it is presented to us.  But because of my Band, I can't eat meat that is too dry.  So we both advised the Server of the mistake.  She of course had them redo our Steaks immediately.

And of course, since they don't want to have the Steaks to go back again, they actually undercooked them the second time around!  But that is ok, since I was pretty much full anyway, after eating some of my Salad and a few bites of the Cheese Fries (which we upgraded from the Bloomin Onion), I knew that once my Steak was microwaved for eating later, it would cook to Medium.....And they were so great about it.  Our shared meal actually came with a small slice of Cheesecake for dessert as well.  We were going to give it to Russ, but the Waitress said that they were going to give us a second dessert as well, so we ordered the Sinful Sundae to share!  Normally they would take back the original Steaks, but they actually offered for us to take them home as well as our left overs!!  So we came home with 2 2/3 Steaks plus the second half of my Baked Potato....

On our way to the Restaurant, I called my parents to see how they were doing yesterday.  Normally my Dad would always be awake by that time.  He answered the call, and I immediately realized that I had woke both of my parents up!!  I didn't even recognize my Dad's voice at first, I thought that it was my Mom....He sounded horrible.  And normally if he answers the phone when I call, he likes to talk for awhile and rarely gives the phone to my Mom.  But he made sure that I was doing ok, told me that he was doing better, that the Doctor gave him some medication to control the pain, so his Arm/Shoulder wasn't hurting so much, then gave the phone to my Mom!!!  I think that I spoke with my Dad about 1 minute....

This tells me that he didn't want to talk to me because he would be too emotional.  He doesn't want me to know his true condition.  I also fear that he was finally getting some sleep, and I Woke Him Up!!  My Mom told me that he was doing better, and that he has a couple more tests to do on Wednesday....What is it about Wednesday???  I have my test on Wednesday and hopefully an unfill....

We also stopped by the local Motorcycle shop that sells the Can-Am Spyder Roadster, that we want to buy.  We are going to put our Gold Wing up for sale in the next month or two, then buy me the Can-Am.  We are planning on buying a 2011 model, since they have some left in stock that are brand new, and we can get them for around $3000 off of the original price.  So we went in, sat on them and talked with the sales guy....I can't wait!

So that was our day out, then we returned home and I continued to work on our taxes....what fun....but they are getting close to being finished.  Hopefully they will be done by this weekend!  So saying this, I need to get started on them again, so....till next time....

Aloha My Friends  :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm Not Looking Forward To Next Week...

And this is the man I Surgeon Dr Kozar!  I am to see him again next week....

Hey Ya'll,

Well, I got my response from Laurie at my Surgeons office.  She got me in touch with the scheduler for the Office.  It appears that Dr Kozar wants me to have an Upper GI with the Small Bowel Follow Through....

I remember this test.  I barely got that nasty crap down the last time....I can take that Barium crap any day, but that crap you have to drink for the Bowel follow through is.....what can I say, just NASTY!!  But he wants to make sure that there isn't a problem with the Band before we go any further.  So after the test, I have an appointment for the same day to see Dr Kozar.  Which means that I have to hand carry the results to him.  I am looking forward to seeing Dr Kozar, even less than drinking that crap!  He is going to chew me out....!!  But once he gets through with his lecture, he will remove the fluid from my Band.  Then time will tell if and when I decide to have the fluid replaced.  I will keep you posted.... :(

I found out today that my Dad's Lung Cancer is Stage 3, and the Doctor told him that if he doesn't get any treatment, he would probably only live another 60 days.  My Dad went in to see the Oncologist today and he had a Patient Advocate with him.  He really liked her.  She totally was there to help my Dad, by taking notes of what the Specialists were saying.  She also told my Dad that she is there for him, and will help him in any way she can.  He needs someone like her!  She was there to explain in plain English what the Specialists were saying.  He has another 2 tests to do next Wednesday.  I am not sure what the tests are for as yet though.  But, unlike the Doctor, she believes that my Dad will live beyond 60 days.  Luckily, it seems like my Dad has decided that he does want to fight this, so he is up for what they decide he needs to do.  I hope we will know by next week if he is a candidate for Chemotherapy, Radiation or Surgery.  I'll keep you posted.

So this past week or so I have basically been in lala land, and under a lot of stress.  But I did speak with my Brother today, and he sounded real upbeat and looking forward to recovering from his Amputation, and getting on with his life.  He is recovering even faster than the Doctor's had hoped, and he is supposed to be able to start using his 1st Prosthetic in a couple of weeks rather than a month or so down the line.  I was really hoping that he would take this as a new beginning.

I found out that he has been in constant pain with his Foot for a long time now.  In fact, I found out that his pain is like the pain that I have when I stand for too long, or walk to far.  But his is constant!  At least, with mine, I can sit or lay down and the pain will go away.  So I was so glad to hear that he is virtually pain free now!!

Well, I guess I should go for now.  I still have lots to do, if I can only make myself start....till next time.

Aloha My Friends  :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Family Update...

Cute bird that I caught in Hawaii.  I wanted to put in photos of my Cousin, but they just wouldn't upload....  :(

Hey Ya'll,

Well, Walt went to the Doctor to discuss his increasing Urinary frequency during the night, and his continual Heart Burn/Acid Reflux.  She immediately did a Urine Sample (which showed some Blood in the Urine), so she is trying Antibiotics for that.  She is hopeful that if the Infection is removed, the Urinary frequency would diminish.  As for the Acid Reflux, she setup an Upper GI for him.

He went in for the Upper GI last week, and it showed that he has a Hiatal Hernia and Acid Reflux (of course!).  So we are waiting for the test results to be sent to our Doctor, to see what she wants to do about it.  So far we have not heard back....she usually calls immediately after getting the results!

My Cousin that has Bone Cancer (she has already fought and won (we thought) Breast Cancer) is visiting her Sisters, Brother and Son right now.  I believe it could be her last visit with them.  She has had some bad days while there, where she was too sick to do anything.  Once her visit is over, she will return home to where she has been living with friends, who will be taking care of her in her final days....She has lost so much weight.  Weight wise, she actually looks good, but knowing the reason why she looks so much thinner, makes it not right.  She looks like she has lost at least 60 lbs.  But fighting (and losing to) Cancer is not the way you want to lose weight....

My Mom is really sick right now.  On top of having all her medical problems, a few of which are, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Spinal problems, Neuropathy, Liver problems, COPD, etc, etc, etc.  She appears to have the Flu right now too!!  We found out why she sleeps sitting up on the edge of the bed.  Apparently, when you have COPD and you lay down, it feels like your Lungs are being crushed, and it is very difficult and painful to breath....Then add the Flu and coughing to it, and can you say totally MISERABLE??

My Dad just keeps getting more bad news.  But like I said, I have felt for some time that he was ill.  I have felt for some time that the Moles on his Neck looked like Melanoma.  But he never went to the Doctor, unless he had to.  However, the last year his pain has increased significantly, so he has been going to the Doctor.  His Arm and Shoulder hurts him so bad that he can barely get any sleep at night.  So he ends up sleeping in his Recliner that we gave him.  It has been a life saver for him.

So he went in for a Bone Biopsy of the Hip, which showed that he has Bone Cancer.  The Doctor wanted my Dad to go in for some full body scans in the MRI and CT machines so that he could determine where the Cancer has spread to.  In the scanning, they found something in the Lung, so he went in for a Biopsy of the Lung last week.  He hasn't gotten the "official" results yet, but he told Walt that he believes he does have Lung Cancer too.  He also confided in Walt that he has been Dry Heaving.  He gets sick and feels like he needs to Vomit, but nothing comes out....So he has admitted to Walt that he has Bone Cancer and he believes he has Lung Cancer.  He has been losing weight, and is very weak.  He barely gets out of his chair anymore.

My Brother had his left Foot and lower Leg Amputation a couple of weeks ago.  He is feeling really good right now, and is trying to get used to not having the Foot.  He makes jokes, etc which is the kind of person that is always has been.  He has always been the one who knows just about every joke there is.  It is hard to be around him when he gets going and not laugh uncontrollably!!  Walt saw him while he was down in Sacramento over the weekend, and he said that he was doing really well.  He even showed Walt his Leg.

His Doctor said that he is doing so well, that he can start using a Prosthetic.  He has to wait for 2 months before he can go back to work though (as he is a Big Rig Truck Driver, and he needs his left Foot for the Clutch).  So he needs to wait until he can put full continuous pressure on his Limb.  He did say that he will probably buy an Automatic Truck when he can afford to though, just to make it easier.  And in about 18 months, he can transition to his permanent Prosthetic.  The Doctor said that he can't see any reason why my Brother can't go back to what he did before his accident, like playing semi-pro Mens Softball.  

So....this is what our family is dealing with right now!  My only prayer is that my Cousin, Mom and Dad doesn't continue to linger in pain long term.  When all they have is pain, their quality of life is gone....My Mom struggles just to get through every minute of every day.  My Dad is now in constant pain as well, and my Cousin is on major pain meds to help her through her Bone Cancer pain.

Aloha My Friends

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some Decisions I've Made About My Band.... :(

Our Daughter Christa sent this to me, and it just seems to fit PERFECTLY!!  LOL

Hey Ya'll,

This post has been a long time coming, and probably the hardest that I have had to write, at least about myself....I'm sure that those of you who have been following me from the beginning, won't be too surprised to hear this, but my Band and I have had some real issues through the 2 yrs, 2 mos, 2 wks and 3 days that I have had it!  I have not been happy about my issues, and a few weeks ago, Walt even went so far as to ask me if I wanted to remove the Band!

Well, it would possibly be something that I would consider (and if I am honest, I had thought about it), but I doubt that our Insurance would cover the Surgery to do it without a Medical need.  Besides, I believe that unless there is a Medical issue with the Band, most Doctors would rather just remove the fluid, bringing us to basically nothing rather than remove it!

However, since Walt asked me if I wanted to have the Band removed, I have been thinking long and hard about it.  Right now, I am doing myself no good with it.  I have done exactly what my Surgeon told me I would probably do, since I confided at my Surgery consult that I am a grazer, wherein he tried to convince me to have the RNY instead of the Band.  But because our Family Doctor begged me not to do the RNY, we changed our mind about it and chose the Band instead.

I do not eat because I am hungry, I eat just to eat, I can eat until I am in PAIN!!  Which is even worse....So of course I have found a way to eat around the Band....meaning that I have failed the Band, the Band has not failed me!  There are a lot more success stories out there with the Band, than stories like mine....

So after a lot of thought, and discussing it with Walt, I have put an e-mail in to the Laurie, the woman who does all of the Fills for my Surgeon, to advise her of my feelings and to get her input.  She was out of the Office today, but she will be back in on Monday, so I am hopeful to hear back from her sometime this week.  I wouldn't be surprised if she discusses this with my Surgeon first, to get his input as well.  Since I mentioned that I was looking to get a total unfill, unless there was some way that I could potentially be a candidate for a Revision Surgery that my Insurance would cover.

Assuming the answer is no (which I am), I have decided to ask for the total "unfill" for now.  I am hoping that if I give myself some time, I can get my Head back into the mindset necessary to continue and be successful the 2nd time around!!  But for right now, there is so much happening in my Family health wise, that I am totally stressing about, and when I am stressed, I want to eat more, not less!  But I am not looking to get the "unfill" so that I can start to pig out!!  I still hope that I can at least keep my portions under control....who knows it just might be the best thing that I can do for myself right now.

And trust me, just because I don't have a lot of restriction, I can, and still do get "Stuck" on occasion.  And I do still have issues with Acid Reflux if I eat too close to bedtime.  I mean even as close as 4-5 hrs sometimes, depending on what I ate.  I do take Prilosec OTC every night regardless, because of all the Medications that I take, and even with it, I still have the Reflux hopefully, once I lose the fluid in my Band, my Esophagus will relax, and I will stop having the Acid Reflux issues at least!

Any thoughts on any of this???  And trust me, you cannot make me feel any worse than I already do, I have made just about every mistake a Bandster can, and have totally done this to myself!!  No one helped me to hurt myself, but myself.  My only hope is that I learn from my mistakes, and if I do decide to start "refilling" my Band in the future, that I am totally successful at that time!

But for those of you that still want to continue following me, I will continue my Blog about my life and everything happening to me and my Family.  If you choose to stop Following me, I totally understand, since you began Following a Band Blog, not a "This is my life Blog"!!  LOL

I have a few things to say about Walt, my Parents and my Brothers conditions, but I will save them for the next post so that I don't overwhelm you!!  So....assuming you still want to read it, till next time....

Aloha My Friends :)