Our diocese is trying to do something new with what we used to call stewardship.  We’re trying to focus on what we have to be grateful for — all of which comes, of course, from G0d.

I have to admit that I have a real tendency to notice what I do not have, particularly if I used to have it, and often do not pay nearly so much attention to what I do have.  Which is a lot.  And I find this to be true whether I’m looking at money or youth or health or things.  I know I have a lot (a whole lot compared to the rest of the world as a whole).  And I still often notice more what I do not have.  I suspect there are some other people like me out there.  I think our culture trains us this way. (more…)

So, Anne and I are back from (my doing) supply in Alturas.  It was fun.  I was there as their priest quarter time just over 16 years ago (the last year I was in Susanville).  Have seen some of the people since, but hadn’t been back to the church.  (I’d forgotten exactly how to get there!) (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 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, 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’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.