Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November Appointments

November was kind of a break for us. Not too many appointments. It was nice. K & I had our behavioral health visits with Lisa. We talked about how I was doing with the food modifications, what my expectations are, stuff like that. She answered any questions I had. I was wondering what to do about time release medications I take once I'm supposed to be on the liquids only pre-surgical diet. She said I can just open the capsules and dissolve them. And that afterward I can mix them in with the mushy food.

So that went pretty well. She cleared both of us for surgery, so we are all set there. We still have more appointments just to check in with her, and she also said that if the weather is really bad we can do a conference session with her over the phone. I thought that was cool. I love technology! So we scheduled December behavioral health appointments for all three of us.

The following Monday we had group nutrition. Jessica again, and back in the upstairs room. She went over strategies for not over-eating, with particular focus on Thanksgiving. This year's holidays are kind of a practice for future holidays. Maybe indulge a little, but mostly learn to not eat until we're stuffed. The food's not going anywhere, and if it is, so what? She gave us a little more information on protein shakes, since we'll be eating quite a few of them during the process. I'm dreading having a bunch of chocolate and vanilla creamy milk-based things, but apparently some of them are fruity based. I guess we'll see how that goes. L has been looking into them online. Jessica said that the ones that are kind of like a shot aren't really any good. They have the wrong kind of protein in them, and you don't get much out of them. Something about the protein source is inadequate.

We also talked about restaurant eating. After surgery, we'll need to be ordering off the kids menu, or the appetizer menu, in all likelihood. Another good strategy is to order a half serving. If they won't do half servings, you can ask them to give you half on the plate and box up the rest to bring home. And she gave us cards to bring to restaurants with us, so that we can show people that we're part of a bariatric weight loss program, and that we need some dietary accommodations. I can't remember if it was at the November meeting or another one, but she also recommended that we get medical alert bracelets to alert paramedics about our not-normal sized stomachs. Dang, those aren't cheap. I'm probably going to get charms and make my own jewelry out of them. I already have jewelry making supplies, anyway.

I've switched over to using for cataloging my meals. It's easier than dealing with all the papers. It also calculates the various statistics on what you've eaten. For example, it can calculate your protein intake (I had to adjust that by a lot, since the default diet plan they give you is too carb-heavy), your carb intake, calories, fats, sodium, sugar or whatever you want to track. And there's an android app. The app lets you scan a barcode with the camera on your phone, and then tell it how many servings of that you ate. Nice!

OT: if anybody doesn't have a smartphone, get one. If money is the problem, you can get a cheap phone + no contract and low monthly service payments from Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile. Boost is cheaper if you use a lot of phone minutes. You start at a certain payment level ($55, maybe? I'm not sure) and get unlimited everything. Every time you rack up six (not necessarily consecutive) on-time monthly payments your bill goes down $5. Virgin Mobile is better if you don't really use many minutes. It's $35/month for unlimited text and data, plus 300 minutes. I've never exceeded my 300 minutes. And I paid $30 for my phone on Black Friday. ($20 for the one I got last year on Black Friday. Check Target for cheap VM phones. I think Best Buy had good Boost phone prices. And of course check their sites. You can definitely get a decent no-contract phone for under $100.)

Back on topic, L also had her appointment with the allergy group about the results of her sleep study. They did get plenty of data. She's definitely got apnea. She wakes up 15 times and hour. So she'll be needing a CPAP machine. The doctor wanted her to have the automatically adjusting one, but wasn't sure if the insurance would pay for it. He said he would order that one, and if they rejected it she would probably have to do another sleep study to see which exact machine she needed. So either he or the CPAP machine people would be in touch.

Well, hooray! The automatic one is covered. The CPAP machine people scheduled her for this coming Friday. So she's been trying to get her room straightened out and moved around a bit to accommodate having a nightstand next to her bed that she can put the machine on. A friend of mine sent me photos of his, and how he has it set up. He also said to be sure to get the humidifier attachment, if you're prone to nosebleeds (which L is). And a doctor friend of mine recommended Nasacort in case she needs it. She bought some the other day, and it helped her breathing immediately. It wasn't cheap, and they didn't have a generic at Walmart, but she said it was worth it. Flonase dried out her nose and gave her nosebleeds.

I think that does it for November. And since we haven't had anything yet this month, I guess we're all caught up. So from now on, I should be writing these as I go. We're getting to about the halfway mark, and I'm starting to get a little nervous. Not too much, but still. Really, it's been more than halfway since we went to the info session. Oh boy.

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