KISS

In this post I’m going to explain why I made the decision to have a Vertical Sleeve it’s not about my journey because I had it done 2 years ago. However my daughter is about to take the same journey and hopefully she’ll share her story on her upcoming blog… I’ll keep you posted.

In case you don’t know what a Vertical Sleeve Surgery is, it’s a less evasive surgery to assist in weight loss. It does not bypass any of your intestines all it does is made your tummy less of a banana shape and more of a straw shape. You eat less because your tummy is smaller but you still absorb all the nutrients. I’m not going to go into the surgery at this time this about how I came to the decision. So for all you chubbies look it up. One night in the hospital and the results are great. But I have to tell you any weight loss surgery will help you get started in losing the weight but you will reach a point where exercise comes into play in order to keep the pounds coming off. I am currently not getting in enough exercise so my weight loss has stopped.

I have been heavy for 40 of my 62 years. I was so used to being heavy the only time I thought about my weight was when I shopped for clothes. So what happened to make me realize I needed help? Was it for a medical problem, or something someone said, was it a traumatic experience, was it humiliation or was a funny situation where the light finally came on. You decide.

Okay I always put off going to the gynecologist but it had been 4 years. On the day of my appointment I arrived early so I would have time for the nurse to find a big gown. Well, as luck would have it NO big gowns were to be found. As every plus girl knows we can get into a regular size gown however it in no way covers or closes in the back. Also your arm movement is limited because you just put 20 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack. So I get in the room small gown in hand and told to undress.

I got undressed quickly so I can be on the table before the doctor comes in. This is what transpired to make me realize I needed help,

I was standing in front of the examination table with my whole backside exposed the gown was so tight I could barely move my arms. The examination table has a little foot stool that comes out about 12 to 18 inches to help you climb up. Well, I placed my right foot on the step however I was unable to put my left foot up because I was wider than the 18 inches, no can do. So, I then put my left foot on the step and my right foot was airborne I don’t know why I thought I would be less wide starting on the other foot.

Starting over. I stepped onto the step backwards facing the door thinking I could raise myself up backwards. The gown was so tight my arm movement so limited a big fail.

The light came on. I figured it out. I could get on step with my right foot, facing the bed I could then climb up. Just as fast as the light came on it went off. There I was facing the bed my right foot on the step my backside facing the door my left leg in the air trying to hoist myself up, sweating big time, my hair was damp and messy, bent over laying across the bed my makeup left an impression on the torn tissue paper.

Deciding to call it quits I turned to get dressed then I saw it, in the corner was a step stool. It was just one step with a 4 foot handle to hold onto. Eureka! I could do it thank you Lord my prayers were answered. I pulled it out of corner and was able to get on the bed. I started to lift the step stool up to swing it to the other side out of the doctor’s way, hoping she wouldn’t realize I needed the extra assistance. As luck would have it, I wasn’t fast enough, there was a quick knock and the door opened. There I sat, half naked, sweaty, messy hair, makeup smeared, holding a 4 foot handle across my lap with the step hanging over the edge. I shut my eyes to imagine what I looked like. Yes, I saw myself. I looked just like a plus size middle age woman auditioning for a spot with KISS. The hair, half dressed, makeup smeared I had it all.

It was then I asked for the referral.

My Life Today

It’s been a long time since I’ve written on my blog… Quite a bit has happened since my last entry.

My mother passed away on February 6, 2013. The last 2 years of her life she actually became quite nice, it was like she finally forgot what she angry about. Her dementia had gotten worse and she would forget everything within minutes.

A few months after my mother passed away I became the caregiver for her older brother my uncle. He became ill and within 6 months was bedridden. His illness seem to have sped up his dementia. He never became angry but he suffered Hallucinations and Paranoia. He passed on March 18, 2014.

In the last 16 months I have had to change my life as a caregiver back to a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. I am now almost comfortable going back out after being a shut in for 9 years. I have many funny and heartwarming stories about the last few years as a caregiver but right now there my memories and I’m not ready to share. I will someday write about them as the final years of a loved one suffering from dementia can and do effect an entire family.

But, at this time I need to tell you about; Aging Life my story… So be prepared in the next few months I’ll be writing about me, my weight loss after a Vertical Sleeve, my family, friend’s, things happening in my life, things that make me laugh, cry and make me mad. So hold on the ride is about to begin….

Dr. Oz Talks With Susanne Eman And Her Goal To Be The Fattest Woman In The World

Since taking care of my mother I’ve become somewhat of a shut in. I do crossword puzzles, go on the computer, watch TV anything to take up time.

When I watch TV during the day, I watch the various the judge shows, movies on Lifetime or Hallmark channel. I don’t like anything scary (living with mom is enough) once in a while I’m drawn to Dr. Oz. his show always has something that scares the hell out of me, whether it’s the Truth Tube, the germs in my purse, signs of diseases, he never fails to deliver.

Well, near the end of September I needed something to shake me up so Dr. Oz it was. His guest was Susanne Eman.

Susanne Eman, if I remember correctly weighs over 700lbs. her goal is to become the fattest woman in the world and her target weight is 1800 lbs. She walked out onto the stage without any assistance, no walker or cane. She was nice looking, cheery and agile.

She stated she had no health issues, her sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol are all were within normal limits. She stated she walks at least three to four times a week and when she gets the chance, enjoys swimming.

Okay, I’m thinking this lady has got to be stuck on stupid. There’s no way I’m buying she’s in perfect health, I found myself yelling at Dr. Oz to push her big behind to the “The Truth Tube.”

She’s not married, has two kids, I’m thinking her food bill must be the same as for Home Town Buffet. In fact they said she could sit at a buffet for over six hours yikes! Where’s her income coming from.

Apparently there are sickos out there I’ll call them chubby chasers that pay to watch obese people eat over the internet. Apparently she has a growing group of followers, she said since she’s going to eat anyway she might as well get paid. Two of her fans, nice looking young to middle aged men were in the audience, they were of normal weight. I’m confused what does seeing a fat women eating doing for them?

According to Dr. Oz watching obese people eat is the second biggest fetish in the country behind pornography. Where in the hell have I been?

Susanne went on to say she models clothes for larger women. Okay being plus size I applaud retailers who use plus size women as models as this allows us to see how clothes look since, one size does not necessarily fit all. But come on, how many women out there buying clothes are 700lbs. It would be like putting a car cover for a Smart car on a Hummer, let’s get real.

Dr. Oz showed some of her modeling tapes she appeared to be wearing a nightgown; she sat on a couch and swings her legs under her body, she moved as if she was size six. However, once she stopped moving and posed, her legs and arms were still jiggling. For a brief moment I thought I was watching an advertisement for Jell-O.

Her deal is she wants to teach people not to judge a book by its cover. When you see a fat person out in the street don’t assume their lazy and not contributing to society. Well, I for one don’t think people judge the contents of a book by its cover; however I do feel people will not pick up the book if the cover is big.

I don’t think eating until you’re the largest woman in the world is contributing to society. There has been many large people who have contributed to society; Santa Claus, Pavarotti, Oprah, Winston Churchill and Alfred Hitchcock they all contributed in their own way, they didn’t have to eat their way into the Guinness book of World Records and they didn’t have to diet to fit in.

In the end, her doctor said she’s playing Russian roulette with her life, but that she showed no problems yet. However, Dr. Oz put her numbers into the Truth Tube and told her she was a ticking time bomb.

Well this program scared me for a couple of reasons, for this young girl who is eating herself to death, for her kids who will lose their mother and for all us big girls because we don’t know who’s watching us.

But, on the plus side I did learn how to make extra cash for Christmas. As soon as my brownies have cooled and my roast is done, I’m getting into my nightgown and putting on the web cam.

Dementia And Dehydration, The Double D’s

For months it’s been one thing or another. I have so much to tell you but I have not had the energy to sit and write. But here it goes my entries will not be in order of their occurrence they will be more of a hit and miss of what I am thinking about at the time.

For the last five years I have been living my life constantly yelling. My mother tells everyone; “I’ve never liked to eat, my mother would sit next to me and yell to get me to eat.”

My mother lives constantly on the verge of malnutrition and dehydration. In the last four years she has gone by ambulance to the hospital four times, one time last year she was so dehydrated she almost didn’t make it. So I constantly yell at her to drink.

Last August I knew my mother either had a bladder infection or was becoming dehydrated she had a horrible body odor. Every time I would try to get her to drink it would end like this;

“Mom, you need to drink more.” “I’m not thirsty.” “I know you’re not thirsty, but you need to drink.” “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.” “Mom, your diapers have a strong ammonia smell.” “I don’t smell anything. You must be smelling your own dirty butt”

I took her to the doctor’s and sure enough she had a bladder infection. She also lost 7 pounds in the last for months. When they told us she had an infection I look at my mom and said,” I knew you were sick just from the odor” without skipping a beat my mom looked at the nurse and said;

“My daughter knew I was sick because she’s a witch.” “What did you say?” “You’re a witch.” “Oh witch, I thought you said something else.”

So now I’m getting to what I want to write about, the last six days.

Okay, Saturday October 15th and Sunday the 16th, mom’s diapers again had the odor of straight ammonia, she was refusing to drink more fluids. I’m thinking dehydration. When I would say something to her it would go back to the same song and dance. I made a decision to take her to the doctors on Monday or Tuesday if she was still refusing to drink.

Monday the 17th, mom got up around 9:30.

“Mom, take a bath before it gets too late.” “Why I’m not going anywhere.” “That’s not the point you’ve been in the same diaper all night and if it gets any later you’ll be getting lunch instead of breakfast.” “I’ll take a bath and eat when I’m ready just worry about your own fat butt.”

Now, she knows it bothers me when she talks about my being heavy. Heck I know I’m big but everyday for whatever reason she brings it up. She must truly have dementia because a sane person wouldn’t be making those kinds of comments to the person who makes their food.

By the time she’s ready for breakfast its lunch time so I make her a half of turkey sandwich with swiss cheese, a bowl of soup and a few pieces of cantaloupe and watermelon. She sits down and starts to complain that it was too much food. I let her know if she kept complaining I would give her the other half of the sandwich. I walked into the den to finish my crossword puzzle.

It was about two maybe three minutes and I heard my mother snoring. “Mom wake up, mom are you sleeping, wake up” Nothing so me and my fat butt get up, I touched her shoulder nothing then I notice she had thrown up and had passed out. She was breathing but making a sound between gurgling and snoring.

“911, is this a medical emergency?” “Yes my mother was eating and passed out, I need help.” “Is she breathing? How old is she? The address and number you’re calling from?”

Finally after all the questions were answered, I called my husband and kids everyone showed up the same time as the paramedics. My husband and son stayed to clean the mess and close up the house, Dana drove ahead to the hospital and I went in the ambulance with my mom.

First before I go any further let me tell you about the ambulance. Why are all emergency vehicles so high off the ground? This was my fourth time having to call for paramedics and an ambulance to my mom’s house, I now feel like I have a close enough relationship with the dispatcher that when they see my mom’s address pop up to send a truck with a bucket to help lift my big behind into the cab of the ambulance. It’s embarrassing I felt like a Weeble (you know the roly-poly characters).

We arrive at the hospital the paramedics had already cut open my mom’s favorite dress. The nurses take her torn dress and sweater all the way off and were going to hand them to me. Hell no! I wasn’t even going to touch the bag. The look on my face let them know it was trash time.

Dana came to sit with me, lab work, x-rays, a CT scan all showed how healthy my mom was, the diagnosis was dehydration. They plumped her up with fluids and we ignored her requests for a Babe Ruth bar. The hospital would have released her but her insurance Kaiser has a policy if a patients loses consciousness they stay overnight for observation.

When the ambulance came to transport my mom to Kaiser, Dana drove me home so I could pick up my car. Now I haven’t eaten anything all day. I down a banana and three cookies and then Paul drove me to the hospital.

When I walked into the room my mom was stuffing her face with Fig Newton’s, she feeling good and wanted to know who came with me to see her and who I called. I let her know everyone knew she was in the hospital and no one came because she wasn’t ill, she was there because she was to stubborn to drink water. I told her I’ve had it. I explained the paramedics, the ambulance, doctors and nurses had more seriously ill patients that they needed to tend to, also her taking space in the hospital is one less bed available for someone else more seriously ill. I was so upset and exhausted I left.

Late that night and early the next morning I received a call from the attending doctor at Kaiser, he wanted to let me know my mom was doing well and would be released around noon.

I got there at twelve thirty. When I walked into her room my mom immediately started asking me if anyone came with me to see her in the hospital. I said no because she wasn’t sick just too lazy to drink fluids. I started to get her ready to go when the nurse came in. She was letting me know my mom didn’t want to eat breakfast but she managed to get her to eat some cereal. Lunch was delivered and she needed to try and eat something. My mom flatly refused saying she would eat at home. Knowing that I would have to continue the battle at home I let my mom know if she didn’t eat she wouldn’t be going home. She began eating.

When I pulled the car up to the hospital patient loading zone, the young man who was helping my mom into the car said; “Have a wonderful day” my mom replied “I’m on the way out.” The young man didn’t know what to say, my mom made it seem like she was going home to die.

I stepped on the gas and looked at her and said;

“So where are we going? Dancing? Lunch? On a trip? Where?” “Aren’t we were going home?” “I thought we were until you told that young man you were on the way out. You’re not dying I know this because the doctors in two hospitals just examined you, the only thing wrong with you is your need for attention.”

When we got home;

“Mom, you need to take a shower you had thrown up and haven’t had a shower in two days.” “Don’t worry about me, worry about yourself.” “Mom take a shower.” “Shut up fat ass!”

Okay this time I picked up the phone, should I call the county morgue or my brother? I ended up calling my brother because I knew his number. I put the call on speaker and asked my mother to repeat what she called me and she did. Well, my brother let her know he wasn’t happy and was coming over.

Intervention (this entry is so long maybe it should be an Intermission).

Since I have tried in the past with the Scared Straight approach having only two bad cops wasn’t working. But now were doing Beyond Scared Straight, oh yeah everyone is on board.

The next day my brother came over, he had my back; even without a script he was remarkable. (Now remember in my last entry I had placed my mom in a really nice assisted living facility for a week, so I had to change it up).

I started to explain that I could not afford to put mom into the nice facility. The cost was $150.00 a day when I placed her in for a week of respite care. Placement for long term would be a little more as she needs assistance bathing, medications and walking to and from the dining room. Now keep in mind this conversation is in front of my mom. Without a dress rehearsal this is how it went down between my brother and me in front of my mom.

“I’m going to be honest with you I can’t ask my husband to do any more than what we’ve done its going to cost two thousand more a month to put mom into a home. Can you pay it?” “Two thousand no way, I’m retired.” “Well, if I can come up with half and I don’t think I can would you be able to pitch in one thousand?” “No, right now it would be tough.” “I know that’s how it is with everyone, I do know that there’s facilities that take only SSI and pensions that don’t have the extra frills but it’s doable.” “Sounds good.”

I told my mom I could no longer take care of her, I was done until I sold the house she was going to the cheaper home, the one where she would have to share a room with one to four other woman, the one where the meals would be simple, like bologna or ham sandwiches for lunch and casserole’s for dinner. Her eyes were bigger now, she understood.

My brother also confronted my mom with his disappointment with the way she talks to me. Surprise!

What a good day this was becoming. My aunt even showed up unexpectedly, without clueing her in about us taking a firm stance in Spanish she asked;

“Eva, how are you doing?” “Not good.” “No, Eva say you’re doing fine” “Fine.”

She even let my mom know she needed to do better so she could remain home. Yes today is a good day, I feel like the troops are with me.

Now on the fourth day, Kaiser sent a very nice young girl to evaluate my mother for Palliative Care. The only ailments my mother has is dementia and RA, since she was not in the final stages of life she did not qualify for assistance.

The only thing my mom understood is that this woman was from Kaiser, she asked me what she wanted. I explained she came to see if she could help, but since she didn’t have a medical condition and it was just that she’s too stubborn to eat and drink a facility might be the answer.

Well, that night no problems, this morning I woke her, gave her breakfast, she showered no problems. My brother just called, he remarked I sounded better, and I’m actually feeling better. Mom’s not sleeping she’s watching TV quietly in her room, when she heard the phone she came out to see who called; I said my brother and he asked if I found a home for you yet.

If I can keep it fresh in her mind, I do believe it will be a good day. Peace.

I’m Back

I haven’t had a real bout of depression since my post back in November 2008 titled Depression. Every November it seems like I struggle around my dad’s birthday then add the holidays, while my grief is better I just miss him terribly.

This time however my depression was different, it lasted longer.

Taking care of my aunt for the last two years had started to take a toll on me. I could no longer do the 150 miles round trip two to three times a week to deal with her issues. Every day she was either upset, arguing with someone, dying or depressed. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I now recognize I had become codependent. I found myself adapting or ignoring her behaviors which allowed me to be involved in fewer of her conflicts.

Then you toss in my mom. I felt like there was a contract out on me and they were the hit men.

I started experiencing anxiety and a rapid heartbeat. I was stressed and on the verge of tears all the time. My family was in protect mode.

But, like I said this time was different, I realized I needed to change. I started to prioritize everything that I was dealing with. I needed to make a decision what I could deal with. Changes had to be made.

I am no longer taking care of my aunt, I can no longer ride an emotional roller coaster and deal with someone’s problems if that person is not willing to see themselves and meet me halfway. While I miss her I realize she needs to seek help, I cannot do it for her. With just this one change in the last six months I have not had a problem with anxiety attacks or rapid heartbeat.

In May I placed my mom in respite care of eight days. EIGHT DAYS of not being responsible for meals, exercise, bathing, incontinence, EIGHT DAYS of not hearing the same questions a zillion times, and the biggie EIGHT DAYS of not being insulted. I called that one week Cinco de Mayo, because it gave this Mexican independence.

I would like to say my husband and I enjoyed those eight days catching up with friends; unfortunately it was spent redoing my mom’s bedroom. We redid her ceiling; crown molding, painting, hung new pictures, new bedspread the works. When she came home she was surprised and happy, her happiness lasted two days.

It’s still rough, she still makes me cry, but when she was gone I did miss her.

I have learned the meaning of “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” I am now being selective agreeing only to take on responsibilities that I know I can handle.

I’m back and have a lot to tell you about, my white haired stalker, my two granddaughters, my husband, kids, Christmas…

I will post soon and try to post every few days, so hold on the rides about to begin…..

I’m A Grandmother Again!

Dana, Chris and Mackenzie received a called on March 23rd about a precious little girl that was born was born in Nevada, on March 5th; she weighed 6lb 2ozs and was 18 inches long.

We all were on pins and needles waiting for the birthmother to make a decision on who would become her daughter’s adoptive parents. A decision was made a few weeks later and on April 9th, Riley Renee was placed in our daughter’s arms.

My granddaughter Mackenzie is such a wonderful big sister, Riley smiles and watches her every move.

This grandma would like to say thank you to two mothers who made the hardest decision to place their child up for adoption, a decision made out of unselfish love that affected so many people.

Please know our granddaughters are cherished and greatly loved.

Your act of love, not only completed my daughter’s family, it completed the lives of grandparents, uncles, aunts, and friends.

Please know that you are both loved and in my prayers, one day our paths will cross, and our family tree will become bigger connected by two little branches.

(Visit the link “My Daughter Dana” to see one of the first pictures of the happy family)

Landeros Resolution

Well it took two months to finally reach a final resolution with Landeros. My aunt would be getting back her money in its original form (credit card) not store credit. She would have to pay the delivery fee and a restocking fee of 10%. I also had to agree to “update ALL forums on the satisfactory agreement.”

So here it is, the final resolution was fair and agreeable by both parties.

However, while the final resolution was fair, getting there was hell. Had Landeros acted more promptly and professionally, they might have kept a customer and obtained a better rating.

Hopefully, this be a lesson learned, your customer service can make or break a business. If you want your business to do well, striving for a fair or satisfactory rating is no longer good enough. The best type of advertising is free and it comes from your customers the type of advertising you receive is controlled by you and your customer service.


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