Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 2014 Update

At church, Christmas Eve 2013, with the family

It's cold here in Kansas City.  We just ran a couple errands and the car thermometer told us it was 12 degrees outside.  Wowsa.  They've already called off school for tomorrow because it won't be safe for kids to wait at bus stops.  I just updated our family blog and thought it might be a good time to update this one, too.  That sounds like more fun that writing a lecture, which was my goal for the day.  Procrastination is a way of life.

Lots of administrative changes at work since last I blogged. They don't really affect me that much.  I think it is all good for students, so most of us are just going with the flow.

We have switched clinic locations to a federally qualified health center that is just a couple blocks from our campus.  While I am thrilled to be serving the community that lives close to where we teach our students, the cultural learning curve has been huge.  The patients there speak 36 different languages.  We have 10 full time interpreters, but often they are busy and we must use the a language service by phone.  Like most clinics, we see a lot of people with chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and hypertension.  Understanding their cultural issues and diet, especially for the recent immigrants, is very important for me.  I found a great site that talks about what a lot of these folks have been through.  For an example, here is the site with all sorts of information about the Karen people.  To be honest, I didn't know the Karen people existed until I started seeing them come through my clinic.  For a relatively educated person, there is a lot I need to learn.

I'm happy to report that the weight loss surgery was a success in terms of improving my health.  I'm currently waiting  on a replacement part for my scale, but as of 12/23 I'd lost 118 pounds.  Here is a before/after comparison.  I took this on 12/16, exactly 5 months post-op, when I'd lost 116 pounds.

More than halfway to goal after 5 months

While I've not started a real exercise plan, I do take the steps at work (up to my third floor office) and have increased my daily activity considerably.  Walking is no problem.  My back pain is gone.  Not just improved, but gone.  My doctor stopped all three blood pressure medicines, both cholesterol medicines and my pre-diabetes medicine.  All of the chronic meds I take now are not weight-related or are vitamins.  That being said, the holidays were extremely difficult.  All of the food, the drinking at parties - I'm almost afraid to step on the scale once I fix it.  But I will, because I'm committed to this process.  Still, I'm checking in at a support group tomorrow night.  I need to talk to people who are walking this same path.

Church remains a huge part of our lives.  All four of us sing in choirs.  Husband and I will audition to sing with the chamber choir at Helzburg Hall in April (Haydn's Creation).  Husband got the chance to sing there last year.  I couldn't because I would miss the last three rehearsals due to work-related travel. As I sat, listening to the beautiful music in that acoustically exquisite venue, I knew that I would do anything for the opportunity should it arise. Wish me luck as I audition in the next couple of weeks.  I really want this experience.

Life is busy always busy for our family.  Husband travels a lot, though it seems he won't leave the country until March this year.  The kids are involved in choirs, sports and scouts.  We hope to put both kids back in swim lessons and enroll the boy in piano lessons.  He's in third grade.  It's time.

That's all I got this time around, folks.


  1. Love the update. You look wonderful are beaming in your recent photos - so happy things are going well. Also wishing you luck for the choir audition. What a fabulous opportunity. You can do it!

  2. It's so great to hear from you. You look good, and you look comfortable; I'm very happy for you. I can tell you have a lovely family. Though I've never met any of you IRL (and probably never will), I feel like I know you all. I always like hearing how much you enjoying singing in your choir. As a former church choir director, I know how much your enthusiasm - and commitment are appreciated. I hope you get an opportunity to do this new project. Let us know how it goes.

  3. I'm so happy to finally hear the you are feeling happy and more comfortable with yourself! Keep up the good work!

  4. What a fabulous update! Love the pictures, too. Though I hope I won't need any sort of WLS, it gives me inspiration to keep working at it in whatever ways I can. I also work for a healthcare facility where a lot of different kinds of people come through the doors, so I'd actually heard of Karen, and we have a huge translator service, too. I, too, sing in our church choir, which is an eclectic mix of people from all sorts of backgrounds; I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Keep us posted about how the audition goes.

  5. Ohmyeverlovingfatfreegravy! You are doing awesome! I not only see a difference in how you look, but also in HOW you look. You can tell you feel so much better! Ok, While I'm new-ish to Seattle, I've never heard of the Karen people. Thanks for sharing that! Good to learn something new.

  6. Happy to see an update from ya! Impressive health gains which of course I know were the fundamental reasons behind your WLS...
    I'm down but only partially "out" w/a nasty MRSA abscess on my R shin (yep, I posted some pictures which are NOT for the squeamish!) - halfway through my course of Bactrim. Haven't been able to go to gym or yoga studio; doing about 15 min of yoga at home before leg starts to throb & I must sit down & elevate it again. My "health" blog will no longer be boring once I enter all my updates!

  7. You look TERRIFIC!!! And you must feel wonderful.

    I have a LOT of catching up. Have questions. Especially one. I'd like to email that if you still have same email I had.

    GOOD for you. Again look great and I'd also love to know how much better you feel physically. Like did you ache before? if so does that go away? Do you feel younger because you feel so light and have more energy?

    I have this theory that even tho I am in my 50s now ...and I notice even my thin friends comment they feel more tired then they used to, etc. theory is that if I lost all the weight I need to ...I actually might feel younger than I have for 2 decades since gaining this weight. Because my body will feel relieved, happy because it doesn't have to work so hard. :)

    I wish I had a laptop, etc., so I could read you blog in bed right now.


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