February 2010

Well, I was back leading our worship at both services today.  After 4 days of feeling comparatively crappy (always full, no room for water, often slightly nauseous and often a bit light headed) I felt a bit better this morning.  Which is not to say I felt good.  But I felt good enough.  And it was wonderful to be back with the St. George’s community.  I was absolutely exhausted when I was done (and actually left before the coffee hour was over). (more…)

So, I’ve had a pretty smooth recovery from my gastric bypass surgery so far.  I’ve started back to work.  I’m basically moving without discomfort.  I’m eating pureed foods.  I’m driving.  I’m walking (more…)

So, a little mini addition to the blog tonight.  My clergy writer’s group met this morning.  And one assignment was to write for 10 minutes on the parallels between figure skating and being a pastor:

I have to say, figure skating and ice dancing may be my least favorite olympic events.  Unlike my wife and daughters, I’m not convinced they should even be in the olympics.  Yes.  They demand strength and stamina.  But there is no objective and no objective standard in the activity. (more…)

So, I continue to heal and have had no problems so far.  I’ve walked as much as threee quarters of a mile at a time.  And I’m intentionally walking just a bit slower than I could.  I’ve had no real problems with “food.”  (Tomorrow I get to start eating “soft” foods.  So far I’m on liquids — though pureed vegitable soup with no meat at all and very liquid cream of wheat and non fat yogart with no fruit bits do push the limits of liquid a bit.  I can have about a quarter of a cup of some combination of the above for each meal.)  I’m itching a bit.  But I’m not really hurting — though I do know I’m still wounded.  But so long as I exercise caution I seem to be fine. (more…)

So I wanted to say something more about Sabbath time.  Which in my mind is different than time off.  At the end of a full week of work, I have always found that I need time off.  I need to let go and begin to relax.  But Sabbath is really about renewal.  And at the heart of renewal, for me anyway, is God.  I’m reasonably good about taking time with God.  But a full day?  That’s more of a challenge for me. (more…)

Here’s something on Sabbath (time) from the Midlife Bat Mitzvah.  Actually, it’s from her husband on how he keeps a (Jewish) Sabbath.  If I feel up to it, I may have more to say on Sabbath later today:

Observing Shabbat: a guest blog

By Ilana DeBare

I am so, so delighted to introduce my first guest blogger!Partly because having a guest blogger makes me feel like I am a Real Established Professional Blogger. (Although, hmm,  aren’t those words — “professional” and “blogger” — oxymoronic?)

 But mostly because this is a fabulous blog post by my husband Sam Schuchat! Who is turning 50 in just about a week. Check out his post. And wish him a happy birthday. Just don’t expect him to respond to email birthday wishes on Shabbat.


I don’t work on Saturdays.

 Okay, it would be more honest to say that I try not to work on Saturdays.  From sundown on Friday night until sundown Saturday I don’t do e-mail, participate in meetings, or  read anything that isn’t fun. I try very hard not to shop, although like any reasonably skilled Jew I am good at making fine distinctions.  For instance, shopping for dental floss is not appropriate on the Sabbath.  Sales at REI on the other hand clearly fall under the category of “recreation”. Generally speaking, I try not to do anything that in any way resembles what I do for a living, engaging instead in activities that are enjoyable and relaxing.  Napping is high on this list, as well as bicycling. (more…)

So, I’m home recovering from my gastric bypass surgery Monday.  So far I’m doing better than I imagined I’d be doing in a couple of weeks — as far as I can tell.  Mostly just trying not to overdo things.  I really expected to be in more pain (I hoped not) and to feel weaker and more tired.  Mostly I’m sore and puny.  And that’s pretty good at this point. (more…)

Ok Susan, tonight’s the night.  I read your comment on my last post.  You’ll be happy to know I had Coldstone icecream for lunch.  I’m having a nice steak dinner with a very nice wine for dinner.  Tomorrow it’s all “clear” liquids.  I’ll need to drink a lot of water.  I have some juice bars and broth.  Monday I’m not supposed to even drink anything.  I gather that it’s likely to be several days, at least, before there’s any chance of even semi solid food after the surgery — memory says it’s more likely to be a week or 2, but I’m really planning to deal with that as it happens.  I’m not checking because I know it’s written down where I can find it and I know it really varies person to person.

Thanks to everyone for their good wishes.

Mostly I’m looking forward to this.  In the sense that I think it’s a good decision and I stand by it.  Which is not to say there is no anxiety.  I’m certainly looking forward to having this all behind me and emerging healthier on the other side.  I do know that there is going to be pain and ongoing work involved.  There are a lot of adjustments to be made, even assuming everything goes very smoothly.

I’m guessing I won’t post again before the surgery.  And I’m not sure when I’ll be back and posting after the surgery.  So all of you be well and take care.  Talk to you later.

So now I have five nights of sleep left before the surgery.  I have vitamins — more or less the right ones.  I have books.  I’ve been reading what to bring.  Not much.  Photo ID.  Insurance card.  C-Pap machine.  My daughter Thea is planning to bring me videos on her IPod.  (That’s not on the recommended list, but it might prove to be very appreciated.)  Something to wear home (which I figure Anne can bring later if necessary).  That’s from memory.  But I think that’s about it.

Meanwhile I continue saying tentative goodby’s to food.  I probably won’t be able to eat some of them again.  And, I’m told I’m likely not to miss them — hard as that is to believe.  And folks, mostly church folks, continue to wish me well (and offer any help I may need later).  I’m actually quite touched.  Sunday morning starts clear liquids.  Monday at what, 5 AM?, I take only one of my prescription meds.  We need to be at the hospital by 6 AM for an 8:30 surgery (if all goes to schedule).

Life continues on around me.  But I’m also handing things off for the duration.  Liturgy planning is someone else’s worry until I’m back at work.  Maintaining the prayer lists is out of my hands until my return.  The bishop’s assistant, Canon Britt Olson, is preaching Sunday.  Pretty much all I need to do Sunday is celebrate the service and enjoy the visit.  (And remember to drink only tea and water, and not to actually take the bread or wine for communion.)  I won’t be able to eat anything.  But I plan to enjoy myself.  There’s not all that much left to get ready.  So I’ll probably watch the Super Bowl.

The truth is that I’ve been a bit anxious since last Sunday.  Maybe anxious is not the word.  But there is a new level of anticipation that I’m feeling.  Suddenly what was coming in the distance is coming up quickly.  Some of that fluttery feeling is the surgery — though some of that is looking forward to getting it done.  And some of it is wondering how much it’s going to hurt (and how long it’s going to take to heal) after the surgery.  And some of that has been getting stuff ready at work and at home.  At this point, what gets done is going to get done.  And I’m going to live with it.

One of the few suggestions from an earlier program we looked into before my insurance changed that I bring with me is the idea that it might be nice to have a kind of bucket list of things I should be able to do after surgery that I can’t do now.  I think they suggested something like 100 items should go on your list.  I have a couple of ideas I haven’t written down.  But it might be time to start developing that list.