Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Final Group Nutrition

We had our fifth and final nutrition group yesterday. It was a bit of an adventure. Nothing earth-shaking, or anything, just... well hang on. First let me update you on what else has happened since the last update.

So. The new, smaller CPAP face mask fits L. That was good. She's doing better at night, and the mask isn't trying to blow off at level 13 (which, I gather, is a high level that it was trying to get to, because it didn't fit right).

The good news about the local medi-van is that they can drive you from way out here to Concord. They took us in yesterday. You have to call 3 days in advance, no matter where you're going.  They took our names and SSNs to make sure we qualified. Then we just told them the time, date and place of our appointments. There seemed to be some confusion with the girl on the phone, because we were going to a group nutrition class. She kept asking, "so do they all have appointments?" Which, yeah, we were all scheduled for the group class. I told her that three times, but she didn't seem to understand. Also, I guess I confused her by saying at first that it was the weight loss clinic for Emerson Hospital. I gave her the address, but when the driver got here, she just had written Emerson Hospital. And even though she told me 10:00 for a pickup time, they told the driver 10:15. Which is cutting it close to get to Concord by 11:00. It all worked out, though.

The girl who drove us was really nice. She picked us up in a minivan. She gave us each a form to fill out names, date, last 4 digits of SSN and signatures. She asked if we were just supposed to go to the fornt of the hospital, so I did have to explain to her that we were actually going to the clinic on Baker Ave. Extension. They don't seem to have GPS, for some reason, so we did have to tell her where that was. She was also surprised that our appointment was for 11:00, since it was 10:20-ish by the time we got going. But to her credit, she got us there on time.

We weighed in at nutrition group. I stayed exactly the same as last time. Then we went upstairs with Jessica. This group was about meal ideas. She gave us some sites to check out. I haven't been to any of them yet. I don't have my paper handy to write down specific sites, but she recommended checking Pinterest and recipe sites for low carb recipes. She specifically mentioned that South Beach recipes are good, as are Atkins and paleo, and obviously anything written as bariatric-specific. She also suggested things like zucchini noodles, or noodles made from other vegetables, spaghetti squash, zucchini lasagna, and jar salads, all of which we've done. I love jar salad in the summer, especially. You can also make anything into a bariatric-friendly recipe, as long as you leave out or substitute stuff like breads and pastas.And she told L that you can still use flour as a sauce thickener, for example, since that won't affect your carb cravings. Oh, and she recommended trying Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream or mayo in a chicken salad, and then putting it in a avocado. Once-a-week cooking, or at least once-a-week prep is a good idea, as well. If you chop all your onions or whatever at the beginning of the week, then you won't have as much work to do when it comes time to cook the meal. That is something we'll need to do, because we get very tired when it comes time to cook.

Since it was our last meeting (after the fifth meeting they just repeat), she asked if we had any questions or specific problems. I said my only problem was my fight with raw fruit and vegetable allergies. I have oral allergy syndrome, so I have minor allergic reactions to most raw fruits and vegetables. The protein breaks down when you cook it, but raw is a problem. She thought it was possible that my allergies could go away, or at least lessen after surgery. I told her I'd let her know how it goes. I'm also allergic to tree nuts. I can have peanuts, since they're not a nut, and I can have cashews. I *think* they're also not a nut, but I'm not sure on that one. I do know that they're part of the poison ivy family, and since I don't get poison ivy, I figured I'd be safe with cashews. And I was right about that. I can usually eat seeds, too.  She recommended chia seeds for thickening fruit pulp into a gel-like consistency, and maybe mixing with Greek yogurt. I may also try flax seeds, as I've heard they go well in smoothies. I am going to have to learn to like those. Maybe I will magically not hate bananas anymore after surgery. Doubtful, though. And I'm allergic, so... But I can usually eat berries and citrus without a problem. So basically it's going to be strawberry/blueberry world around here for a while. I think I vaguely remember something about not eating raspberries or blackberries at first. Not sure. I will have to check that out.

It's getting down to the wire for us. K is under 100 days, and L is nearing 100 days until surgery. So they're both over halfway there. Which, believe me, feels like down to the wire. We're halfway through December, and our surgeries are in March and April. I'm getting a bit nervous. As I get closer, I will probably freak right out. After class, we made our January nutrition appointments. We were already scheduled for one-on-one appointments in February, but Jessica thought we should come in for one-on-one in January, too. So K will be seeing Jessica again in both January and February, and L & I will be seeing Marie again.

Once we got the appointments straightened out, we called for our ride home. K called first, and they told her that we all had to call separately. I have no idea why. We had to wait a while for a ride, but less than an hour, I think. There's a nice waiting area in the lobby, though. They picked us up in a wheelchair van, which was weird. The guy was nice. he wasn't sure where our street was (and still no GPS), so I had to give him directions once we got off the highway. Other than that, it was uneventful.

The bad news about the medi-van service is that this morning, K called and tried to get us a ride to our behavioral health meetings on Friday. but apparently they can't get us to Concord that early in the morning. So now I either have to figure out a way to get the truck door fixed by then, get my father to drive us in, or ask if Lisa can do our appointments over the phone. She said that she could do that if we had weather and couldn't make it in, so I think we're going with that option. I doubt the truck will be fixed by then. And I don't really want to subject the people there to my judgmental father. Some people, myself included, have resting bitch face. He has resting scowl face. He doesn't look cranky; he looks pissed. And judgey. Which, to be fair, he usually is. And anyway, he's flying out to SF this weekend to spend Christmas with my sister. So he's probably got things to do Friday morning.

Next post, I'll talk about behavioral health, and whether or not we did it over the phone. Tomorrow, I see my regular therapist. I am kind of hoping she cancels, because I am getting sick of this riding the bus crap. My body is too messed up and sore to be walking around town to and from bus stops. I've already gone to an orthopedic appointment for my shoulder, and an eye doctor's appointment to get punctal plugs for my dry eyes via bus ride in less than a week. Basically, everything hurts, and I have a sore throat now. Can't remember the last time I had one, either. Coincidence? I think not. Oh, and because I have a panic disorder, I have to bring L with me on the bus, so I don't freak out. We actually ran into K on the ride back from the eye doctor today, which was amusing. She was going from her afternoon class back to work. She knows the bus drivers by name, so the bus driver greeted us when we got on, with "hi, family!" LOL. I can't imagine knowing the bus drivers by name. I don't talk to people I don't know. So note to self, when Dennis Hopper puts the bomb under the bus, K has to be Sandra Bullock. (See Speed) And she's welcome to Keanu Reeves. Not a fan. Dibs on Alan Ruck, though.  He's on my nerd crush list.

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