Went to the support group for those who’ve had bariatric surgeries put on by the group that did my preparation and surgery early last February.  I think that’s the fourth time I’ve attended (which means I’m getting there about every three months).  I may be able to get to some of the once a month Saturday during the day sessions (rather than the late evening monthly sessions I’ve been attending).  But, frankly, I probably need to supplement with a closer group (most such support groups are open to anyone who’s had this kind of surgery) if I want to be more regular.  And regular participation in such a group seems to make a real difference in how things work out long-term.  It’s also a chance to give back. (more…)

You may remember (if you’ve been following) that I had gastric bypass surgery about 10 months back.  Mostly, things have been pretty status quo for a while — so while it continues to be something I deal with every day, I really haven’t had much to say about it for a while.

But I heard last night about another guy who had the same surgery, and had pretty much the same complications I’ve had (more…)

Just a heads up.  I’m planning in the near future to change the name of this blog.  I had originally thought I might call it The Sunset Juggler.  I have the photo (no, I’m the photographer, not the juggler) to go with the name.  And my sense of life in general, and life with God and scripture in particular, is that we are always juggling and wrestling to find our way.  And, this is more true for me since maybe April of this year, in the aftermath of my gastric bypass surgery, as I see the probability of retirement of some kind approaching (more quickly, I suspect, than I had anticipated), I also see myself as being (at least at the start of) the sunset of my years. (more…)

So, catching up on several personal bits:

First, it looks like my daughter Audrey’s Crohn’s Disease may be stabilizing.  She will have to live with it for all of her life.  And she’s started some heavy-duty treatment (that could have serious side effects).  But it’s not been 2 1/2 weeks since she’s had to go to the ER.  And it seems like she’s starting to have a life again.  I am very thankful.

Second, my recovery from gastric bypass surgery is proceeding.  Now that my passage out of my new stomach has been enlarged by scoping, and I’m being treated for ulceration found during the scoping, I seem to have finally stopped with the random throwing up that was happening.  I’m eating solid foods, including proteins.  And I feel like I’m back on track.

Third, I’m progressing with my use of Matins and Vespers from the Order of St. Helena Breviary.  It’s well on its way to developing as a routine.  My main problem seems to be missing the first Vespers for first class feasts (I forget to check out upcoming feasts until the morning of the feast).  I’m also waiting with anticipation for my copy of “Holy Men, Holy Women” (the new expansion of our calendar which replaces “Lesser Feasts and Fasts”) to arrive and find out who some of these new people are.

Well, on a personal health note, there is some news.

The first is simply I’m in day three of feeling like I finally have something like my normal energy.  Which means I’m doing more (and feeling energised rather than innervated by it) than I’ve done since my gastric bypass surgery.  It feels good, and I hope it continues. (more…)

Well, after reading Brother Adam’s piece on simplicity (and ashes, and how he had chosen to look at the ashes of his own losses, rather than the rebirth that was happening out of the ashes), I’m hesitant to write (yet again) about my gastric bypass experiences.  And I need to acknowledge up front that, on balance, this remains a resurrection experience for me.  I continue to lose weight at a brisk pace (almost 50 pounds since February 8), I continue to reduce my medications (though not officially with the last reduction) and new life possibilities are opening up (not all of them having to do with my health).  So the bottom line is still good news here.  I went out with a friend Monday (I’m on vacation this week) and took a lot of photographs in the Sausalito area.  Life is, mostly, good.

But I’ve been blogging about this mainly so that others who are considering such a surgery (there are other surgical options) or someone going through this can get a sense of what this has been like (is like) for me — and (remembering that every experience is completely individual), just possibly what it might be like for them.  And probably the biggest learning is that it is an ongoing process (and likely to remain so for a long time).  I keep wanting to be completely “healed.”  But it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out that way in any near future.  I’m going to have to live with this and adapt to this for some time to come.  Maybe a year or two from what I can gather.  And even then I expect life to be very different from life pre surgery. (more…)

Well, much as I want to say I’m fully recovered from the surgery, and simply looking at how life moves forward after gastric bypass surgery is accomplished, I keep getting reminders that I’m not there yet.  And, as my wife reminds me, I cannot really expect to be “over” the surgery and fully recovered and back to a new normal yet.  It’s been just over five weeks.  I haven’t had my second follow-up visit with my doctor yet.  I don’t know if my vitamins are in balance.  I’m not eating “normal” food yet — just “soft” food. (more…)

Well, I think I’m probably back from surgery.  I know my energy is going to be a bit low, at least off and on.  But I’m eating soft foods now, mostly without much problems.  It’s been a pretty busy week — much of it, but not all, work.  Our Vestry Retreat adds some time and effort.  Doing my taxes adds some time and effort.  And I’ve had three medical appointments (and blood work done) this week.  And I’ve been tired sometimes.  Like last night, when I just couldn’t sleep.  And I ended up finishing off the Prayer Service for tomorrow’s Vestry Retreat a bit after 3 AM.  I did need a nap this afternoon (and I really hope I can sleep tonight).  But I’m walking, I’m working, I’m eating and I’m playing.  And I’m not in pain.  There continue to be adjustments I have to learn to make.  And there continue to be minor issues to deal with.  But I think I’m back.

Biggest disappointment so far?  I’m still taking one and a half of my diabetes medications.  And my blood sugar is not as well controlled (ranging from about 150 before breakfast in the morning to about 80 before I go to bed — going slowly down all day).  But that’s better than it was (although not as good, at all, as it started out after the surgery).  Second biggest disappointment is the addition of a new blood pressure medication.  I’m still hoping, long-term, that both of these problems go away.

Biggest plus?  I was about 263 pounds the morning of my surgery (down from about 300 about a year before that).  Thirty two days after the surgery I weighed 229 pounds.  (These are first thing in the morning before shower weights.)  I know my scale can be off by a couple of pounds, up or down, on any given day.  But that’s about 34 pounds in thirty-two days.  And mostly I don’t feel like I’m going hungry.

So, all in all, I can’t complain.  I know I’m still in the healing and adjustment phase.  But I’m assuming I’m back in what is becoming my new “normal” routines for life.

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…)