Sunday, January 15, 2012

Our NEW Life on Wheels

Hey, everybody! Thank you all for your strong support, encouragement and prayers in response to Suzy's two posts about her upcoming surgery. That was awesome and overwhelming!

You can imagine, perhaps, that our life is going to be focused for quite a while on two things: Suzy's new life and my term on the Saguaro Co-op Park's Board of Directors. I still have two years to go on the Board, and my expectation is that I will be adding some significant new duties starting next month.

For Suzy, we'll be taking baby steps, moving through the stages of recovery, learning what she can eat and what she can't. We've been to classes, we've read the books, we've joined an online support group, we've talked to others who have been through it. Now it will still be baby steps, but we are encouraged about taking them.

In the meantime, our RVing life will have to change. We have a major goal of getting to Nova Scotia in 2015, or at least starting our trip to there that year. The way we look at it, it will be a two-year trip. But first, we have to take a different set of baby steps. Suzy won't be driving the motorhome for quite a while, of course, and I haven't had much experience recently, so I have to re-learn the skills of handling the beast. We have to find places nearby where we can take short trips as soon as Suzy can handle them.

That takes us to our little journey Saturday. We had heard about Roper Lake State Park here in Arizona, so we bundled ourselves into the car and made the 175 mile round trip to check out Roper Lake, and to see what's is in that neighborhood.

Roper Lake, what a neat place! The lake itself is fairly small, but attractive; no, I didn't take any pictures, because we had a 15-minute pass -- no fee for that -- to simply drive through and take a look. There are three campgrounds within the park. One is a group campground with a few cabins and no hookups at the RV pads. The other two have nicely designed RV sites with electric and water connections. We made notes of the best looking sites, and will try to reserve one of them for a future visit or two. Those sites are near the lake itself and have great views of nearby Mt. Graham, which is currently decorated with the winter's snow.

From Roper Lake we drove a few miles further north to the town of Safford. We passed the Elks Lodge (small but no RV parking we could find) and ended up at the Manor House, probably the nicest restaurant in town.
The Manor House, with snowy Mount Graham (elev. 10720 feet) in the background
The Manor House was well appointed, decorated in an Old West theme. There were even big old wagons, three of 'em, hanging from the ceiling!

This lamp, showing an Apache couple in stained glass, sat on  the end of the salad bar.
Here Suzy got to practice her temporary new eating style in a restaurant. We both ordered a Poncho Villa Burger -- topped with pepper jack cheese, green chili pepper, tomato slice, lettuce and onion. But Suzy ordered hers without a bun, because she is not to be eating any bread, potatoes, rice, noodles, etc. prior to her surgery. As a side dish we each ordered a cup of pinto bean soup. Suzy is to be concentrating on protein the rest of her life, and those beans are high in protein. The burger was wonderful, the soup delicious. Suzy took the veggies from her burger and set them aside as a salad, which she topped with a very light balsamic dressing.

The past six days, and for the next nine, my lady gets two protein drinks a day, plus one "light" meal, for a daily input not to exceed 1000 calories.
One of Suzy's protein shakes -- 30 grams of chocolaty protein, lots of vitamins and minerals,  and only 160 calories.
Yesterday we calculated she managed to get lots of protein and all of 989 calories! She is not suffering from major hunger pains, and in these six days has lost 9.1 pounds!

On the way home from Safford, we noticed a wonderful cloud formation, and had to get a picture.

Suzy has mentioned going with other surgery candidates to a pre-operative meeting led by a registered nurse who had similar surgery many years ago. It is Gayle who was a major force in developing the hospital's bariatric program; she serves now as the Bariatric Coordinator of the hospital. She told us that she hears complaints from some people about all the stuff they have to give up to get this procedure: desserts, mashed potatoes and gravy, coffee, eating out frequently, drinking. Gayle's response to that is: what have you had to give up to get here? Mobility. Breathing well. Walking more than fifteen feet without having to rest. Pain-free days. You'll give up some other things, sure, but look what you will gain back: mobility, walking, freedom from at least some of the pain, buying clothes in normal sizes. And before long you'll be eating what you like, in very small portions.

Sunday morning we awoke to a gorgeous sky. I grabbed a couple of quick shots before my battery died, and by the time the battery had been replaced, the color was gone!

So that's what we are seeing this week in ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. I'm excited for Suzy -- and you too of course:) My husb and I both need to lose weight and it is very difficult to do so, so we understand the need, the want-to, to lose the weight. I will continue to pray for Suzy as she goes thru this change in her life! God bless -- BTW, I did get your comments on my blog with no prob with Chrome.

  2. All the best with the upcoming surgery Suzy. I have fought off a lot of stuff over the years but this weight thing is by far the hardest one of them all. It's a real mental & physical struggle that a lot of naturally slim people do not understand. Keep up the good work and don't get discouraged. You are on the right track........

  3. What an adventure you have ahead of you! I'm happy for you both. I haven't been following the discussion about getting comments, but I had to switch to Chrome (from Internet Explorer) to leave comments on your blog and my own blog, and to read some (but not all) blogs.

  4. All the best to you both. I think you're very brave. This is not for scaredy cats but the rewards will be worth it. So good that you continue to live the RV life through this.


  5. Like the other commenter’s, we wish you the best Suzy!

    Your future plans for traveling sound exciting too. We were however concerned about the wagon seemingly over Suzy’s head though.

    John and Ellen

  6. The only thing we can be sure of..change..And I think some change is really good. I can tell by Suzy's determined attitude about life that she will tackle this like she does everything else...By the way, I really WANT that lamp on the salad bar...I am going to see if I can find it online..

  7. Hi guys, good to see you are doing some long range planning. Aileen and I ate at the Manor House on Oct 28, 2010 as we stayed in Safford on the last night before arriving at our winter abode in Florence, AZ. Nice to see a post from you.

  8. We are so proud of you Suzy for having such a wonderfully positive attitude! Gayle has the right idea. Even in our daily life, we must give up some things to gain on others. 9 lbs. is a WONDERFUL start! Your protein drink looks delicious. I love chocolate!
    Jerry...I am sure Suzy feels VERY LUCKY to have such a supportive loving husband. Prayers going your way for continued patience and support.
    The photos today are lovely! Great job.

  9. Suzy is also lucky to have such great support from you.

  10. I'm so glad to hear you both still have the travel spirit within you, and are planning a super trip in the future. You have a huge challenge ahead, but you can see past it. Suzy, you're in our prayers for your procedure and recovery in beginning a new life. Jerry, we'll also keep you in our prayers for the part you're playing, which is no small job. Love you both!

  11. I had one of the early bariatric surgeries, the vertical banded gastroplasty, in 1987. I started at 380, got to 199, back up to 287, and now back down to 250. So, 130 pounds off permanently! YAY!!!!

    My daughter had the gastric bypass, and has to follow the strict diet and supplement regimen. She lost 125 and has kept it off. It completely changed her life. Mine? Not as much. But she went on to get a brand new, happy and productive life! Once you accept the changes in lifestyle (eating patterns), it's smooth sailing !

  12. I think it is all up to Suzy. If she can stay on the prescribed program, all should be well. My best wishes for success and satisfaction.

  13. We've had to change our eating habits to get Jim's blood sugar down. So we are on the same kind of eating program you are - lots of protein, very few carbs. Hopefully that will help me lose some of my extra weight. It's not easy giving up all those foods you love (carbs) but the results are well worth it. Prayers for you Suzy. Jerry's support is really going to help you when you get discouraged or tired of the food program. Looking forward to watching your progress. And a few trips out in the MH sound like a good deal to me. Wonder what kind of fish they have at Roper.

  14. Some big changes coming up for you! Wishing you all the best and support w/ everything.

  15. Adding my support to the others and wishing you both all the best in the coming days. With your positive outlooks I'm sure you will have a positive outcome.

  16. It is going to be a great adventure once suzy is on the road to recovery:) Good luck with relearnig the quirls of the "beast".

  17. Suzy - I am just now catching up on blogs since my own surgery, and was surprised and happy to hear you are having this procedure. I'd guess it will surely change your life for the better in many ways, and Jerry's to. Good luck with the surgery, keep up your spirits, and we will all be thinking good thoughts for you and Jerry, and sending prayers for you for a successful outcome. :)


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