Suzy again ---
Let me tell you about our day yesterday, when I got the final word about my surgery schedule.
First of all, I had my six-times-a-year visit to my pain doctor in Tucson, for an epidural shot to control my overall pain level. This helps with the spine problems and polymyalgia rheumatica. Next, Jerry and I had our annual appointments with our ophthalmologist; good reports on both of us.
Because I'd be going on my mostly liquid 1000 calorie per day program for two weeks, we popped into Panda Express for a farewell lunch. Goodbye to restaurants for a while!
The next stop was a delight: we pulled into the only Safeway store in the area that sells gasoline and took advantage of a $1 a gallon discount! That discount saved us $11.40 on one tank of gas.
Then across town we drove (and in Tucson, across town can be 15 or so miles) to my surgeon's office for more information on what's coming up. This office has a bariatric team that can't be beat: two surgeons who specialize in minimally invasive surgery and in bariatric surgery in particular, with a psychologist and a nutritionist on staff; and two patient advocates dedicated to making things happen for the patients. My advocate, Patty, has been working very hard to make schedules work for us to reduce the number of trips we have to make from Benson to the far side of Tucson.
Patty handed me schedules and maps so I would know where and when to go for a three-hour pre-surgery class (this Thursday), my pre-op conference with the surgeon (next Monday), and the surgery itself, January 24. Then she gave me a thick book prepared by the Bariatric Center at Northwest Medical Center hospital, where the surgery takes place. It is a comprehensive manual covering nearly every possible condition for the two weeks prior to surgery, the time in the hospital, and the months afterwards. Jerry and I are enthralled by the many details included in this book.
Patty also provided samples of several flavors of the special protein meal replacements that are for sale either in their office or on-line. There were shakes in many flavors (such as chocolate, banana, orange creme, vanilla, and strawberry) and one that's supposed to be a chicken broth thing. Patty told us she doesn't get many positive reports back on that one. There are other protein drinks we can buy at Costco, Wal-Mart and Trader Joe's, so I won't have to worry about lack of options. I had my first go at these this morning for breakfast, a delicious chocolaty 11 oz. shake containing 30 grams of protein and scads of vitamins and minerals. Quite satisfying.
We said goodbye to Patty and returned the 60 miles home, stopping at our local Safeway for some salad makings, stopped at our mailbox in the park for the weekly package from our mail forwarding service, stopped at another rig to drop off some papers, and hurried on home. We had invited some dear friends to share my "last hurrah," and we were running short on time. Jerry threw some chicken breasts into a marinade (olive oil, tequila, and some great southwest seasonings), and I tossed a big mixed salad. Shortly Chuck and Dee arrived bearing carrot cake and some deviled eggs. They also brought their own beverages.
Beverages! Oh my, we had 'em! Jerry and I had a round of strawberry margaritas which were very sweet. Couldn't take any more of that, so we switched to Black Velvet and water, our usual choice. The four of us talked and talked and talked, solving many of the world's problems (and possible creating some new ones to work on later). It was 8:00 before the chicken hit the grill; while Jerry was grilling, I whipped up a batch of mashed potatoes. "Last hurrah" for sure! What a fine evening, and we capped it off by putting out yesterday's post.
Thank you to all our readers who responded so positively about my decision to move ahead with the surgery. We'll let you know what happens in this phase of ... Our Life on Wheels.