Friday, March 20, 2015

BFL's Important Life Lessons Chapter 2

It's time for a new chapter in my Life Lessons.

Keep your chin up: No, really, keep your damn chin up. If you don't you will rear end somebody and screw everything up. People are retarded, and these days, more and more old people are driving around. Sometimes, I honk my horn at them just to make sure they are still alive.

How to spot dangerous drivers: In the same vein as above. It is an important part of driving to spot dangerous drivers before they have the opportunity to bring you into their bubble of stupid. There are very clear signs to be aware of. 

1. Their car is already completely janked up. This indicates one of a couple of possible scenarios. Either they already messed it up because they are stupid, or they give ZERO shits about their car. Either scenario means, they don't care to mess your car up, or their car for that matter.

2. They are old. Now, not all old drivers are bad, just like 99% of them. The ones that look dead gotta watch out for them. They were driving back when everything was a dirt road, and lanes didn't exist. They think lanes still don't exist. Also, they are old, they don't care if they live any more. When they need over to get into the walgreens for their monthly meds, they will NOT check their mirrors, and you never really know if they are turning or not, because they always leave their blinker on. It's like Russian Roulette. My advice is just take a detour to avoid them if they are on the same road as you.

3. Teens. You can tell teen drivers in a few different ways. Window chalk is a great indicator. Especially if words like "Dick" or "Bae" are written somewhere. Another way to tell is if their car moves a lot at stop lights. This is typically due to them either dancing or horseplaying and they are rocking the shit out of the car. You can also spot a teen if they are blaring One Direction or Lil' Wayne and singing in unison with it. If you see a teen driver, immediately accept your death is imminent. It's best to have a pleasant surprise if you happen to live. They basically own the road. EXPECT ANYTHING from a teen driver. UP TO AND INCLUDING throwing things inside your car at a stop light.

Doctor's have a poor concept of time. This is important to note. Doctor's love to tell you the worst case scenario 100% of the time. When I had my accident, I was told I would be in a fixator for 12-16 weeks. It has been 10 weeks, and I went through a fixator, cast, and boot, and I am now walking with a brace. Save yourself the trouble. NEVER ASK A DOCTOR How long anything will take. You will leave depressed. I don't know why they do it. Maybe it's to make themselves look good, or maybe it's to make you expect the worst. Either's dumb.

Avoid catheters. I know, it sounds like a grand time. However, in general, avoid putting things into your urethra. I have had nothing but issues with these. The medical industry will use words like "necessary" and "Mandatory". LIES. Just superglue your urethra shut, because ripping it apart will be far less painful than any catheter you are likely to receive. They are AT LEAST 10 times bigger than they look. It's some type of sorcery. You can physically look at it, and it will be the size of a drinking straw, but once it makes contact with your genitals, it triples in size and grows barbs. Another thing....YOU WILL PISS AIR. I don't give a SHIT what anyone says. You will have air pockets in your bladder, and you will fart from your peehole, and you will be laughed at if you even dare ask a medical professional about it. They will claim that it's ridiculous. It's not. It will happen. You will have pee farts.

Buy a Bidet. Seriously, why are we the only country that thinks it's acceptable to wipe your butt with a piece of dry wadded up paper. Let me ask you a question, would you touch poop with your hand, and then wipe it on toilet paper, and consider your hand clean? NO. Then why the hell is it acceptable to do it do you butt? Wash that nasty ass. At the very least, give a spritz of water and then use TP. We aren't living in the stone ages. Gross.

Use Reddit. You know all those weird things that you do, and you are so ashamed of them that you don't talk to anyone else about them? No? LIAR. You have them. Not only do you have them, but I guarantee you that other people do the same thing. Reddit is completely anonymous, and you can post that disgusting or weird thing on there anonymously and talk to the other freaks just like you. While you are on there, you can learn a lot of helpful stuff. You can also read about how weird other people are and it will make you feel better. Also, all the funny stuff you read on Facebook is on there like 3 days before you see them on Facebook.

Get discounts. Seriously, if you are the customer of companies like Cell phone providers, cable, satellite, or other subscription services, don't accept ANY service interruptions. Call them, and pretend like that 30 minute outage caused complete turmoil in your life. You will often get $20 credits. They just hand them out to shut you up. This isn't slimy in my opinion. It's demanding good customer service, and if you are stuck with them because you are either in a contract, or they are the only cable provider in your area, make them work for it. Don't be afraid to be an asshole. I can't stress this enough. Aren't you tired of getting screwed by these guys.

Do things to amuse yourself. I do this constantly. I do things so ridiculous, that I laugh at myself. I find weird things to do to keep my own attention. You don't have to be around others to be funny. You can entertain yourself. It's like masturbating, only you can do it in public without getting arrested. One of my favorite things to do is to do customer service chat, make them role play with you. If I am chatting with an amazon rep to check on my delivery, I will take on the role of a robot, and insist that they play along to delivery exceptional customer service. You would be surprised at how many of them will play, and they enjoy it. Just chat all day long fixing problems, and then this one weird guy came on and made you talk like a robot. That sounds like a blast. You can also make funny faces in the mirror. Why do you have to be a kid for this to be normal. I still enjoy it to this day. If you aren't close to a mirror, use the front facing camera. Make funny faces and laugh at yourself. Do impersonations of actors or accents. If you are as hilariously bad at them as I am, you will laugh at how dumb you sound. This is GREAT therapy. People may think you're weird, but you will find that you are a happier person if you can laugh at yourself.

Expect the worst. Ouch! I'm being a negative nelly over here. Watch out! "How could RJ say's mean, and pessimistic." YUP, it is....and guess what I'm never disappointed, but I'm often pleasantly surprised. You see, if I expect the worst, and the worst doesn't happen...YAY! I did good. I'm happy instead of disappointed. Because I'll tell you a secret, people are almost always going to do bare minimum to get by. Don't be a victim. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Two Steps Forward...

Over the last 9 months, I have had my fair share of hills and valleys. Many great things have happened to me. I've lost a lot of weight (160 lbs), met the girl of my dreams, almost lost my foot, passed a kidney stone, had my sister move in with me, and the list keeps going.

Firstly, lets talk about some good news, and then we will get down to the nitty gritty. I went for my final follow-up with Dr. Grear at Campbell Clinic and was told that my ankle was not only doing well, but SO well, that I managed to completely skip physical therapy. Yes, you read that right. I did so well with my at home stretches and exercises that he said I currently have MORE mobility in my ankle than he would have expected AFTER physical therapy. I am sure my current weight and determination helped with the recovery of that. So, you will likely not be reading much else on that little adventure. Put a fork in that chapter, because it's done!

Ever since my VSG (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) I expected my eating habits, and how I feel after I eat to change, obviously. So, I went through the motions, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary to me. I noticed over time that I would get bloated after eating. Nothing too terribly bad, but it led to a lot of reflux, and belly pain. I just figured I was eating too much, or eating something my body didn't like. I dealt with it, because after all, my stomach is now the size of a small banana. However, over the last few months, it seemed to be getting worse. I had Lesle living here now, and she was cooking a lot, so I assumed it was simply because I was eating too much, because she is an AMAZING cook. So, I lowered my portions, and it seemed like no matter how little I ate, I felt bloated and disgusting for about an hour after I ate. I began skipping meals, because of this. I actually dreaded eating.

Last week, I started having some weird cramps after eating a slice of pizza and getting sick. It was very painful and lasted well into the night. It wasn't really normal feeling cramps, it felt almost like hunger cramps, and I couldn't really place exactly where the pain was coming from. Sometimes, it almost felt as if it were coming from my back. I got hardly any sleep that night. A few nights later, it happened again (this was last Thursday, 3/12/15), but this time was different. It wasn't letting up, and I began to wonder if I had a leaky sleeve. I decided to go on into the ER AGAIN. They scanned me and said it was most likely my other kidney stone, but they also found a little bit of inflammation in my gallbladder. They sent me home with some pain meds and antibiotics. I went through the weekend, assuming that the pain was just inflammation, and popping my antibiotics.

Monday morning rolled around, and I got up to get ready for work, and I was F-ING hurting. I decided to run into the ER one more time to at least get some more pain meds, but within an hour, the pain so great, that I didn't know what to do with myself. I called the on call surgeon and he said "Get to the ER, and tell your doctor to call me"

I went to the ER, and they did the normal thing. IV, Pain meds, vitals, and then in about 15 minutes, the nurse came in and said "Dr. Degges is admitting you".

I was brought upstairs and put in a room and waited about 45 minutes for Dr. Degges to get there, and he said "You have a massive stone in your gallbladder, and I think we need to remove it. You are scheduled for 1:20".

In a flurry, I was texting everyone to tell them I was about to have surgery AGAIN. I texted work, because the fact that I even still have a job there after all the work I have missed is amazing. My bosses response was simply "Did you expect anything you do to be simple?" Good point. However, I could hardly have predicted this.

After surgery, Degges talked to Mom and told her that it was one of the worst gallbladders he had ever seen, and they were going to keep me for 2 days! This is normally an outpatient procedure. I was quite sore. More so than I ever was after my VSG.

So,  I was doing well (overall, and considering the facts). I was sucking back the water and ice cream, and I had to pee. I asked the nurse for a little urinal, and went to do my business....nothing. I sat up in the bed a little bit and re-adjusted....nothing!

What the hell, my bladder was full. I strained (it hurt my incision), and still nothing. I told the nurse, who said "It's no big deal, I'll scan your bladder, and we'll do an in/out catheter". Well, I am no fan of catheters as you probably well know by now. As she went to get the bladder scanner, I furiously tried to pee, but it felt like it was just stopped up. In/out...that doesn't sound that bad. Just stick a little straw in, drain it, and move on. Lesle was in the room when the nurse arrived with an ultrasound and a catheter kit. My bladder had almost 500ml of fluid in it, which is pretty much capacity. She recommended the cath, and I held Lesle's hand as she explained what was going to happen. It sounded harmless enough. I just told her not to be shy with the lubricant. Next thing I felt like a red hot poker had been slammed into my urethra at gale force speeds. The seering pain gave way to a twinge of relief as I felt the pressure decrease on my bladder. It was a perfect balance of discomfort from having a straw in my penis, and the comfort of urinating. It suddenly stopped, but I could tell that my bladder wasn't empty. This is called "hitting a pocket" The solution is to very very slowly pull it out about an inch at a time until you start emptying again. This part sucks. Eventually the ordeal was over, and I laid there in the fetal position grasping myself as the nurse cleaned up.

The next day, I was feeling better, and I started trying to pee first thing in the morning, with no luck. I'm telling was an ALL DAY ordeal. Hot water, standing up, sitting down, straining, showering, anything you can think of to pee on my own, and it wasn't happening. The nurse was already talking about another cath, and that kind of pressure only made it worse. I sat on the pot and strained so hard that I lost hearing for a moment, and suddenly, I felt a little trickle, I strained and strained and managed to give her 100ml. Enough to keep her from giving me another cath. Finally they called in a script for flomax. 6 hours later, I peed. I was able to empty my bladder on my own, and I had never been so happy, from that moment on I was a peeing machine, and all was well.

I was released on Wednesday morning, and went home and slept all day.

I decided to do some research on what exactly can happen during gallbladder issues. So much was explained. All the things that I thought were normal due to my VSG were likely caused by my gallbladder. I was released to a normal diet as tolerated, so naturally I had chicken spaghetti for dinner. It was divine. I enjoyed my meal, and I wasn't bloated. I felt satisfied. I had a nice meal with no reflux or bloating or anything.

You see, I am getting healthy, but in doing so, it's almost as if my body is saying, "Oh we are doing this now, well, let's take care of all these other issues that I was putting off because you were fat."

I learned that for people that have had this surgery, depending on the amount of weight loss, have up to a 76% chance of having their gallbladder removed within the first year.

The question still remains. Through all the things I have been through over the last 9 months, how did NOBODY notice that my gallbladder had a stone? I have had AT LEAST 3 c/t scans of my abdomen. Nobody ever once mentioned any issues. This could have been caught early and avoided an emergency surgery.

For those of you that are thinking about this surgery, please don't assume that the pain you are having is because of your VSG, especially if you still have your gallbladder. Bring any and all issues up to your doctor. This went from 0 to "in/out cath" in less than a week, so listen to your body.

On the upside, everything that happens to me is one less thing to worry about. Kidney stones? I have that licked. Gallstones? NOPE, been there, done that. I now have a whole host of healthy organs, and they only stand to get healthier (I hope) as I lose weight. As long as I can keep my job, and make my family happy while continuing on this crazy journey, what more could I possibly ask for?

With that, I leave you with some pictures that I took over the course of the last entry, including some hospital pictures.

Here is the progress pic. Left (04/2014) - Right (03/12/2015)

My Momma!

 Completely High after surgery (still in recovery)

 Battle Wounds

One of us was happy