Saturday, January 31, 2009

Brandi's Week In TV Review

So, welcome to a new feature here in my Babylonian Cottage. Every Saturday I'll post my random thoughts on my favorite shows from the week. Beware, they may contain spoilers. In fact, just assume that they do.

First, I want to officially complain that Wednesdays have too many good shows. I had to quit Ghost Hunters International because my DVR can only record so many shows at once. Besides, the lead investigator annoys the crap out of me. I'll figure something out when it's back to Jason and the crew on the regular series.


Lost: I'll just go ahead and say it. If I hadn't already invested 4 years in this show I would quit watching. I'm seriously unimpressed with this season so far. I don't like the bouncing around. I don't like 20 different plot lines. I'm hoping it'll get better as the season goes on.

Also? It's making me feel dumb. I used to be able to theorize and debate about what was going on, but not anymore. Mr. Daniel Faraday has made certain of that. By the way, remind me never to date him--dating Daniel is apparently a one way ticket to Time-travel-induced-coma-ville. So, anyway, now I just sit back and try to enjoy the ride and hope that in the end it'll all make sense without a physics degree.

I have made a few theories this season. We'll check back later and see if I'm right.

1. Miles is Marvin Candle's son (the baby from last week's episode).
2. The chick who went with Daniel to the H bomb is actually Daniel's mother.
3. Sun is behind trying to take Aaron away from Kate.

Daniel Faraday

As for this week's episode, the only bright spot was Desmond. The scarf, the sunglasses, the hair. He was so hot my retinas are scorched. I'm really glad he and Penny are major players this season. And...that's about it. Lame episode in all. I'm getting tired of Locke. I wish he'd stayed in the coffin.

Battlestar Gallactica: Holy mutiny, Batman! Pretty awesome episode. I have a girl crush on Starbuck. I desperately want to see her kick Gaeta's butt from here to Caprica and back. I have NEVER liked Gaeta. Ever.


Best scene of the night? When Adama and Rosalin kissed outside the raptor and no one knew where to look.

Was anyone else peeved that the previews for next week gave too much away? The whole point was to keep us guessing as to the fate of Tigh and Adama, and then they went and said that Tigh was dead and then they showed Adama in the airlock, alive for the moment anyway. I actually love spoilers, but if I didn't that would have made me mad.

Maybe it was just to fake us out. I can't imagine they'd kill off Adama. He has a bunch of traitors to deal with.

Top Chef New York: I'm so glad Fabio and Stephan got to stay. I love them, especially Fabio. Also, I've had way too much of Lea and Hosea. Just go off and have your affair already. I want to watch cooking. Also, it was fun to see the previous season's contestants back.

FYI, I have my money on Stephan for the win. If I had my druthers, Carla would win, but I don't forsee her staying much longer.

Celebrity Rehab: Sobriety House: Yeah, I watch it--so what? Don't you judge me.

Can I just say that I now have huge respect for Rodney King? That guy is really, really trying to do what's right. The rest? Not so much. I had a lot of sympathy for Steven Adler during the regular Celebrity Rehab show, but not now. I realize he has a disease and suffered a crappy childhood, but he also has choices in life and he keeps making poor ones.

I cannot stand to watch Nikki McKibbin. Her mouth. Her mouth!!! I know she's just playing with her tongue ring, but it's sooooo distracting and annoying I want to do violent things.

Amber Smith

And Amber Smith makes me want to just put a bag over my head and hide in a closet. Did you see how completely gorgeous she was 2 seconds after she woke up? So unfair. Although I don't have a raging opiate addiction that drove me to high end prostitution, so maybe it's fair after all.

Alright folks, that's all. I'm going to go put on my Snuggie. Which in person is so very much just a backwards robe.

Friday, January 30, 2009


The Snuggies have landed. I repeat, the Snuggies have landed.

Q & A

This picture has nothing to do with anything. I just liked it.

I've had lots and lots of e-mail questions about my surgery, so I thought rather than sending all those individual e-mails, I would answer them here. Yes, I'm that lazy.

Q. What exactly does the surgery do?

A. I had Roux en Y gastric bypass. They stapled off a small pouch of my stomach, which only allows a few ounces of food (in my case, about 5 ounces) to be eaten at a time. Then, they reattached the stoma (where the food empties out of the stomach into the intestines) lower on the small intestines. This creates malabsorption, meaning I don't absorb all the calories (or nutrients) that I eat. The stoma is also made a bit smaller, causing the stomach to empty more slowly, causing me to feel full longer.

Q. What do you eat in a typical day?

A. This will change as the weeks progress. One's diet progresses from clear liquids, to all liquids, to mush/puree/very soft food to regular food. I'm in the mush/puree/soft food stage right now.

This is what I ate yesterday:
Breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, mashed with 1/2 tsp of Miracle Whip Light.
Snack: 4 oz. Dannon Light & Fit Carb Control strawberry yogurt
Lunch: 2 oz. Star Kist Sweet and Spicy Tuna
Snack: 2 Kraft 2% milk cheddar cheese cubes (about 1 oz of cheese total)
Dinner: 1/4 of a Lean Cuisine Salmon with Basil dinner. I'm STILL full from it 17 hours later. Seriously.

I also drank about 30 oz of water, which I need to double.

Q. What have been the biggest changes so far?

A. Well, I've gone from 800 units of insulin a day (that's not a typo--it was really 800) to 70 units a day. For an average diabetic, 70 units is still a tremendous amount to take, but for me it's a huge improvement.

I'm never ever hungry. Sometimes my stomach will be growling, but I still don't have the sensation of hunger.

I'm now cold all the time. I used to always be super hot.

Q. How much weight do you want to lose?

A. I need to lose 99 more pounds to reach my goal. I needed to lose a total of 155 pounds, but I lost 30 pre-surgery and have lost 26 since the surgery.

Q. Aren't you starving yourself?

A. Essentially, yes. I have to take a lot of supplements, and even that isn't enough. I'm burning muscle instead of fat. My hair will start to fall out soon. It's part of the deal. In a few months I should be able to intake enough calories to stop the starvation mode.

Q. Do you have to take a lot of vitamins?

A. Oh yes. I take 2 chewable Centrum Silver multivitamins, one B complex pill, one Biotin pill, sub-lingual B complex drops, 4 chewable calcium citrate wafers and an iron tablet a day. Plus, I have to add nasty protein powder to everything I possibly can.

Please note that that many vitamins (Especially the iron) would be toxic to a normal person--it's only because of the malabsorption that I need to take so many. These are taken under the guidance of my surgeon.

Q. Will you have a lot of extra skin after you lose the weight?

A. Yes, which is why the military will pay for a tummy tuck once I am down to a BMI of 25 or less. I will also have saggy arms and thighs and back, but I can live with that. Muscle toning will help. Also, boobs become super flat. I'm only a B cup to start with, so I'll just have flaps of skin in a year. I will probably pay out of pocket for a lift. And maybe a C cup.

Q. Is the weight loss permanent?

A. Only if I choose for it to be. You can over eat and stretch your stomach back to what it was and gain everything back. Exercise and watching what I eat will be a lifetime thing.

Q. I heard the divorce rate is really high for people who have the surgery. Are you worried?

A. No. But it is a valid concern. The usual scenario is that the woman "settled" in the first place because she felt no one else would want her because she's fat. Once she's skinny, she decides she can do better. I would have married Will even if I'd been thin, so I'm not overly worried. But it's something to always be aware of.

Got any more questions? Ask away! Not just about the surgery--ask me anything. I might just answer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Confessions

If I hadn't cropped this, you would see that my fly was wide open.

Due to a complete lack of things to write about, I'll once again tell you more about me. Me me me.

1. I cried when I found out Liam was a boy because I wanted a girl so badly.

2. I'm seriously freaking out because I haven't lost any weight in 3 days.

3. I spent Tuesday night in the ER because I thought I had a post-op blood clot in my leg. I do have one, but it's in a superficial vein, therefore it doesn't require treatment and is unlikely to kill me. But if it does, you all know the drill.

4. While I was there the bastards pumped me full of fluid "just in case" I should become dehydrated. I gained 2 lbs.

5. I get a twisted sort of thrill lately when I get dizzy from lack of calorie intake.

6. I've played the flute for 23 years.

This one time, at band camp... Actually, I have a slew of band trip stories, but they're probably only amusing to other band geeks.
Does an oboe player duct taped to a hotel room floor amuse you?

7. I took Latin (by choice) from 9th grade through sophomore year of college. 11th and 12th grade were independent study with my English teacher because Evanston, Wyoming is too backward to offer Latin.

8. It didn't help me understand that conversation between Juliette and the 1950's Others on Lost last night.

9. I have read every book Maeve Binchy has written, many of them twice. And I always read Tara Road when I'm at the doctor's.

10. I would like to study anthropology.

11. Even more so, I would like to learn how to make stained glass.

12. I was totally wearing Spanx in the "10 days after" picture I posted.

13. I broke my nose running into a parked snowplow when I was little.

14. Dirty houses really scare me. Really. A lot.

15. I constantly have a soundtrack to my life playing in my head. There seems to be a song for every moment.

16. I've never worn high heels.

17. I highly prefer the beach in the Winter.

18. If you owned a pair of Eastland shoes in the mid 1990's, I or some member of my family likely had a hand in making them.

This style was the bane of my existence.
It was my job to use dyes to make each piece of leather match.
These never ever matched. Not even close.

19. Working in a shoe factory sucks.

20. I have lived in 2 different Augustas.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

People watching at the Y

So, the first 10 minutes or so of my morning workout is sheer pain. My music isn't quite enough to distract me, so I've been intently watching the other people in the gym. I've found they mostly fall into 5 categories.

1. The Body Builders. These are the guys that are uber muscular on top, but have tiny little girly waists. They look like they might topple over at any minute. The faces they make while they lift weights amuse me immensely--way funnier than putting-on-mascara-face.

2. The Little Old Men. These guys are so cute. They come in every morning in their buttoned up oxford shirts and Dickies to work out. Usually they just walk laps, but occasionally one will hop on a stationary bike. Then they spend the rest of the morning reading the paper at the juice bar, talking smack about the obviously gay personal trainers (Not my Gay Chad, of course).

3. The Over Do-ers. These are the people who are going a hundred miles an hour on the elliptical machines, or are going so fast on the stair stepper that you fear for their safety. They are always drenched in sweat and gasping for air. They're also usually hanging on to the hand holds for dear life. When they finally stop, they stagger around, dazed, for a good two or three minutes. Often they immediately get on another machine.

4. The Pick Up Artists. These are women who come strutting in at 8:30 every morning with full hair and make up done. They are all bleach blonde. They all wear very tight workout clothes. They only use the treadmill, just fast enough to appear in shape, but not enough to cause them to break a sweat. They flirt with all the non-gay male personal trainers. You know they're looking for a man.

5. The Work Out By Osmosis Club. This group baffles me--and there are a lot of them! These are people who come in, all decked out in work out gear, MP3 player and water in hand, ready to work out. But they go from machine to machine without ever actually exercising. They sit on the machine for a minute or two, doing nothing. Then they spray the machine off and move on to the next machine where they just sit. I don't get it.

Bonus group: The Chickens. These are the people who use their head rather than their legs on the elliptical. You can see their heads bobbing forward rather forcefully with each step. I can't watch these people.

*I'm sorry if you fall into any of these categories and are offended. But not really.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A shout out to my peeps

O.K., I'm way too white and Mormon to say that.


I've had a lot of new people stop by and say hello recently, and I just wanted to take a minute to say hi back.

And to say thank you for dropping in--all of you. I'm still a little stunned when I look at my stats and see that more than just my friends and family are reading my self absorbed drivel. A lot more. Enough that it makes me a little dizzy if I think about it.

I was thinking about you all this morning as I was sweating away at the Y. I wanted to quit after 30 minutes, but the thought of having to be accountable to all of you made me keep going. I can't let down my peeps! (Those were the actual words that ran through my head. I know. I'm a nerd.)

If I wasn't perpetually broke I'd offer a fabulous giveaway, but I am, so hopefully my heartfelt appreciation is enough.

I love my peeps!

And Gay Chad loves you, too.

peep show

Monday, January 26, 2009


No, that's not a self description.

It's a description of this weight loss thing.

I feel somewhat guilty writing this, but all those people who preach that gastric bypass isn't the easy way out--they lie!

I bought into the lie--it was repeated to me over and over as I prepared for the surgery. You'll get depressed. You'll wish you never had it. You'll miss food as though your best friend is dead. The first months are miserable.

Yeah, not so much. For me, this has been pretty easy. I don't really miss food all that much. When will makes popcorn the smell makes me want some, but it's not unbearable. I have not felt hungry once. I'm the opposite of depressed and miserable. I feel better than I have in years.

And I've been losing 4 pounds a night while I sleep. For real. For the past 4 mornings I have woken up 4 pounds lighter than the previous morning. I'm down 24 pounds in 11 days.

I'm not saying there's no work involved--I exercise hard for an hour 6 days a week. But miraculously, I enjoy it. I was antsy all day yesterday because I couldn't go. I dragged the family out for a Sabbath-friendly walk through the woods to get my fix instead.

So, yeah. For me this has turned out to be the easy way out of obesity. I feel bad for people who are dieting--it must really suck.

O.K., I promise, no more surgery related posts this week.

P.S. I completely got Gay Chad in a tither by losing so much so quickly. He warned me it's not healthy. He fears for my well being. That Gay Chad is so sweet...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Odds and ends

Sorry--there's no official family update today. It's been a slow week at the Douglass house.

Let's see...

I have lost 20 pounds in 10 days. That makes a total of 50 pounds since September.

I got to eat my first pureed meat today (and a mashed egg for breakfast!). As gross as pureed meat sounds, it was pretty good. I'd made a very tender pork roast for lunch. And most importantly, I still feel full from it. Very full.

Some very good friends of ours, Brian and LaNae R., who we hadn't seen since we left Germany 4 years ago, stopped by for lunch on their way to Florida. It was so good to see them again. Their oldest, Garrett, and Ben were best friends. Today they picked up like they were 5 again.
We've both had 2 more kids since we last saw each other, so it was fun meeting the new additions.

Grant R., Amelia, Ben, Garrett R.
Liam refused to be in the picture, and Emi R. is
still a baby and was fussy.

And...I think that's it. Lame post, I know. I'll try to make up for it tomorrow.

P.S. Gay Chad says hi.

P.P.S. I don't see too much of a difference, but here's a 10 days after shot.

Oh yeah, I got a sweet new haircut.

And my boobs are still non-existent.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Infomercials strike again

So, I've mentioned how I'm obsessed with infomercials before.

My obsession has struck again.

I bought a Magic Bullet.

But I needed it. Really, I did. I have to have mush and purees for another month, and it's the perfect size since I can't eat much.

And I've sort of been obsessed with it for a year. It's one of my favorite infomercials ever. I've been poring over the 10 second recipe book all morning. Seriously, chicken salad in 10 seconds? Awesome! Salsa? Guacamole? Frozen drinks? I'll totally have to have a Cinco de Mayo party this year.

I used it last night to make a protein shake. It was so yummy--never mind that it made me violently ill for three hours and detracted from my enjoyment of Admiral Adama and President Roslin finally doing the deed. I used 2 spoons of cottage cheese, a spoon of natural peanut butter, a scoop of sugar free chocolate truffle protein powder and a squirt of sugar free chocolate syrup. In less than 5 seconds it was a creamy, frothy cup of yumminess. That made me want to die.

Oh, and more good infomercial news? The Snuggies have been shipped!

It's NOT a robe!

Friday, January 23, 2009

My apologies.

Sort of.

Will was appalled by my fake swearing yesterday and said that I shouldn't represent myself that way.

But you know what? That's who I am. And this is my blog. And if I feel like fake swearing, I'm frakkin going to.

Damn hell damn hell damn hell damn hell damn hell damn hell bitch.

I feel better now.

Anyway, I'm sorry if it offended anyone. I'm not sorry I said it.

In other news, I'm less mad about the surgery situation today. Losing 4 pounds while you sleep does that to you.

I was cleared for all exercise (except weights), so I sweat my butt off (literally) on the recumbent elliptical today. 45 minutes straight. It says I burned 500 calories. That's more than I ate yesterday and will eat today combined. Woo hoo!

Also, I've been trying to find a way to work this into a post for a week now, but it never fit, so here is as good a place as any. Will walked into his Priesthood class (it's like Sunday School for men), and as he approached the bench to sit he saw that it was covered in cracker crumbs. Now, remember we live in Georgia, and that Will is a skinny white guy when you read the next part.

He asked, "Is this the cracker bench?"


P.S. Frak damn hell!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Damn it all to mother frakkin hell


I'm mad.

The fighting back tears kind of mad. Not the Will bought a Wii Fit kind of mad.

I just got home from my first post operative appointment. I'm going to have to do this all over again in 6 months to a year. The whole surgery.

I've been telling them since the very first drink of water I was allowed to have that I wasn't getting full--that I could drink 8 or 9 ounces a time. They kept saying that it "takes a few days" to feel the fullness.

So, I mention it again today and they decide to give me a big glass of water and have me drink "until I think I'll vomit."

My stomach, which should now hold 3-4 ounces, can hold 10 ounces.

I'll still lose weight, but at a slower rate and it will be a much harder uphill battle (which is why they want to do a revision at some point).

On the bright side, 10 ounces is still much smaller than before. I'm still taking far less insulin. I'm still off the blood pressure meds. I don't ever feel hunger. I'll still lose weight.

I just wish I could have something happen normally for once. Something, anything. Everything always ends up being a convoluted ordeal. Nothing can ever be just normal. I just want normalcy.

Yoga with Gay Chad

So, yesterday I was at the Y walking my 4 miles. By the way--my scale says I have gained 2 pounds! How can that be? I'm only eating around 200 calories a day, and I'm assuming walking hard for an hour burns at least that much. Grrr....

Anyway, I'm doing my morning walk. Will didn't feel well and there was some shopping to do, so he went to Wal-Mart. An hour later he picks me up and informs me that he kinda sorta bought a Wii Fit. Just because they had them in stock.

I'm a little peeved. 1. We're already paying for a gym membership. 2. He has PT (physical training) for free 5 days a week at work. 3. He works from 4 am to 6 pm and then comes home and passes out, so when exactly is he going to use it? 4. Essentially, he only wants it for the skiing. 5. He has a conniption fit if I buy a $3 magazine or a $1 water.

So, I mostly get over being mad by the time we get home and decide to give it a try.

One of the first things you do is choose a personal trainer--there's a male or a female. The female looked like a skinny b*tch who has water for lunch and would make fun of me after I left the room. So, I chose the male. I named him Gay Chad. There is no way on Earth he's straight. Just look at him:

Gay Chad------------- Skinny B*tch

So, Gay Chad and I play some games and do some aerobics. I am apparently horrifically uncoordinated. I had to quit the step class game because I was a danger to myself. But Gay Chad was supportive and encouraged me to keep trying.

Then I decided to try yoga. And I kind of love it! And I was pretty good at it, considering it was my first time. I was getting 3 stars all over the place. Who knew I'd be into yoga?

Gay Chad is so proud.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

That's what friends are for

As helpful as Will is (no, really!), we had to rely a lot on our friends these past 2 weeks for help.

Our family has been fed, chauffeured around, entertained and babysat extensively by our friends lately.

I was going to post a list of names, but it sort of felt like a cheesy awards show acceptance speech. So, let me just say to those of you who helped us--it did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. And when I say help, I mean all kinds. Visiting me in the hospital, calling to check in on us...all of that.

There is one friend in particular who went so far above and beyond that I really must tell you all about her.

This is Tina. We've been friends since 2006-ish. Her family moved to Fort Meade and at church their first Sunday Will kept saying he thought he knew her husband. Sure enough, they had been friends in elementary school. Their fathers had served in church callings together. Since that day, we've been friends. They moved away to Georgia about a year later, and then a year after that, we got to move here too. It's fate I tell you.

Tina is a one woman humanitarian aid program. If anyone needs help, Tina is usually there first. Sometimes she starts helping before you even know you need it. More importantly, she's happy to do it. I help people when I can, but sometimes it's out of a sense of obligation, not love for my fellow man. Not Tina.

I estimate that over the past 3 years Tina has fed my family about 867 times. She has taken care of my children approximately 4,589 times. How does one repay that? Amelia calls her her other mom. (I'm pushing for an arranged marriage between Amelia and Tina's son Chandler, so maybe someday Tina will be her other mom).

Can you imagine how beautiful their children will be?

Anyway, Tina, you're awesome. And amazing. Thank you for all that you've done for our family.

Now go read her blog and get to know her better.

I said go!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So many things to blog about, so little time...

Well, actually, I have tons of time, so grab a drink and get comfy.

1. I have lost 7 pounds in 6 days.

2. Lost premiers tomorrow and I can't wait. Bare Sawyer chest and yummilicious Desmond. It almost makes it worth sitting through Jack's crying jags.

3. It's SNOWING today. In Georgia. Where our trees were already flowering. And we were running the AC 2 weeks ago.

4. I just walked 4 miles at the Y, and I feel pretty awesome.

5. We are apparently all Cylons. Who knew? And if Helen is the fifth cylon, I'm going to be pretty frakkin pissed. I did not wait 4 seasons to find out it was Helen, a bit player. My money has been on Starbuck since day one. And Dee? Where did that come from??

6. I'm down to 1/8 of the insulin I was on pre-surgery, and I'm totally off all three of the blood pressure meds I was on.

7. I want PB&J on honey wheat bread more than I have ever wanted anything in my life.

8. I have a chunk of something in my surgical drain and it's freaking me out. It looks like a tumor.

9. If Jack Bauer and MacGyver were in a fight, who do you think would win? I'm thinking MacGyver because Jack can't do squat without Chloe. We'd all be speaking Chinese about now if it wasn't for Chloe.

10. I have the best friends ever. Tomorrow you will hear about just how awesome they are. Especially Tina. Watch for it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

I'm home!!

I had the surgery on Wednesday as scheduled and everything went swimmingly. I was pretty famous in the operating room prep area. I had to keep explaining why I already had fresh incisions, which was followed every single time by, "That was you? We heard about you. Your cyst was the talk of the surgery department for days. " Ummm, yay?

Anyway, I ended up spending the past 5 days in the ICU because doctors are cocky.
I require insane amounts of insulin. The doctors said I couldn't possibly require that much insulin. So, they would give me 3 or 4 units (I normally take 800) and scratch their big pointy heads and wonder why my sugar kept going up.

I begged them to please just call my endocrinologist who was working just one floor up. I even played the crying girl card. No, no. What does he know? It's only his specialty. Besides, I'm post op gastric bypass now. Everything is different!

I told them very clearly that on my current no calorie, no fat, no sugar, no nothing all clear liquid recovery diet, I would still require about 40-50 units of insulin.

No can do.

Anyway, long story somewhat shorter, they finally called in the endocrinologist, he told them 45 units (hmm, sound familiar?), they gave it to me, it worked, and I'm finally home.

Physically I feel pretty good. I'm only mildly sore at night (like now), but nothing worth breaking out the narcotics for. Real food tortures me--I want it, and I can't even cheat and have one bite of anything because I don't want my stomach to burst open at its new seams. And I don't want to vomit. I didn't water down my broth packet quite enough tonight and I thought I was going to pass out for a few minutes.

I'm really looking forward to the day a month or two from now where I can have some chicken breast and cucumbers for dinner, an omelet (well, three bites of one anyway) for breakfast.

The part of me in the most pain from all this is my butt. Hospital beds are not made to be lain in for more than an hour. Some nights I almost prayed for death because it seemed like the only thing that would give me sweet release from the butt pain.

And the topper to this party cake of a week? I got my period. During surgery. Highly unpleasant, yet proof that God has a sense of humor. And I always seem to be the butt of His jokes.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I didn't even break it up with pictures (I could show you my surgical drain and its contents if you want).

Oh--I did pre-write a post that was scheduled to post tomorrow in case I died or had major complications. You want to read it? I know you do. Here it is:

If you're reading this, I'm either dead or in the hospital with major complications.

Either way, it must suck pretty hard to be me right now.

Bummer. I'll miss the premier of LOST tomorrow night.

Anyway, I'm writing this the night before my surgery and scheduling it to post next week (umm, that would be today for all of you). I just wanted to say hello from the dead (or the hospital) and make sure you're working on that pink casket and getting Kathy Griffin. Or sending me flowers and organizing the blogosphere in fundraisers for my family (Nie Nie is home now. All those Etsy auctions can benefit me. Me me me.)

Is Will dating yet?

Oh, this is what I wrote in my note that I taped to my belly:

"Please do not use iodine or betadine on me (then a big smiley face) Or I'll hunt you down and slash your tires."

Hmmm....Maybe this has something to do with why I'm dead?

With love,

Your dearly departed (or maybe just seriously sick) blogger buddy Brandi

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Here we go again

O.K., so here we are again--a day before the big surgery. I'm not nearly as nervous as I was last week. I should be--all the possible complications are still there--but I'm not. I guess that's a good thing. The biggest thing I'm worried about? Dying without ever knowing how LOST ends. It's a sincere concern of mine.

I go in and talk to the surgeon this afternoon. I'm telling him that he has my permission to remove any non-essential organ that gets in his way or has alien cysts growing on it. I'm also going to try to convince him to give me a hysterectomy while he's in there. Think he'll go for it?

I'm also trying to come up with a really creative threat to tape to my stomach before the surgery. I'm allergic to iodine. I had a big red wristband on stating that. I also reminded the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. But, they prepped me with betadine anyway. I spent 3 days burning and itching.

So, I'm going to tape a note to my stomach reminding them, and I'd like to include a threat. Something that they'd know was a joke yet would also convey that I mean business. Any ideas?

Oh, and I have a codicil for my will. I would like you to get Kathy Griffin to give my eulogy. I know she's a busy celebrity, but in my head we're best fiends. I think she'd do it.

And all those jokes I want from all of you? Have them printed in a book to be given out as gifts at the after-party.

And I want a pink casket.

And if anyone comes near my cold, dead eyelids with blue or green eyeshadow I'll haunt you (in a bad, evil way) for the rest of your life.

I think that covers it.

Oh wait. One last thing.

Those with weak stomachs may want to avert your eyes.


Are you sure?

My before shot. You'll see a lot of this as the months go on.

Before, a side view. Flattering, no? I like how it shows off my back hump (years of poor posture and a mild case of scoliosis). Just call me Quasimodo.

You guys totally thought I was going to show you another ovarian cyst picture, didn't you?

Monday, January 12, 2009

The new subtitle

I read a quote from one of the Twelve Apostles of my church today:

“Let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion
and give up the summer cottage in Babylon.”
–Elder Neal A. Maxwell

My first thought was, "Oooooh! A summer cottage!"

And if you know me, then you know that it's a fitting title for this blog. I'm mostly a good girl. I try to purge all of my rebelliousness into my posts here. I tossed around "Brandi's Den of Sin and Unrighteousness" as an option after my prop 8 scandal, but I think Summer Cottage in Babylon has a nice ring to it...

And if any of you know how to make it centered, I'll love you forever. It's driving me crazy!!

A Tiny New Obsession

One of the tricks that successful gastric bypass patients use to get and stay thin is tiny dishes and utensils.

It's totally psychological--for people used to piling their plates, it can feel like torture only having two ounces of food on that same plate (even though that two ounces will stuff you). Those two ounces will fill a tiny plate. And using tiny forks and spoons makes you take tiny bites, which is ideal for tiny stomachs.

So, a couple of months ago I was at Target and they had lots of tiny dishes. Cute tiny dishes. And little silverware, too. So I bought a few. And then I was at Pier 1 and they had even cuter tiny dishes, so I bought some more. Over the past couple of months I've started a nice little collection.

Sorry, this is a horrible picture but I had already put them all away and didn't want to get them all out again. Look how cute those tiny spoons and forks are! Did you know spooning leads to forking? True story.

So, now you know what to get me for my birthday (after the Ronco Dehydrator, of course).

Something else I've been collecting? Vitamin supplements. This will be mandatory for the rest of my life.

Not pictured: 8 pounds of isolated whey protein powder in various flavors.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Family Update Volume VII

Once again it's Sunday and I have very little to write about for a family update. Or at least that's how it feels, but then I start typing and it ends up being a novel.


Ben started the gifted program this week. He takes a bus to one of the other elementary schools every Thursday and spends the entire day there. The teacher called and said he did really well, and it's all he could talk about at home. The downside? He now hates "regular" school and complains that he's bored out of his mind every day.

Amelia is still giddy over becoming a Sunbeam. She likes going to primary with her brothers instead of to nursery.

Liam is obsessed with fire safety. This has actually been going on for months, but we thought it had subsided. His pre-K class visited the fire station back in October and sat through a lecture about fire safety. From that point on he was convinced that if he didn't become an expert on fire safety he would die in a fire. Dinner times were spent with him going over and over our family's escape plan and where we'd meet and reminding Amelia and Ben not to hide if there was fire and not to be afraid of the firemen in masks.

By December his fervor had died out (so we thought). Then, he brought home a stack of recent art work from school. Every single one was a drawing of him rescuing his classmates from fire. His teacher said that that's all he wants to play during free play as well--he puts on the fire hat and rescues his classmates, even if they aren't playing. Surprisingly, he has no desire to be a fire man when he grows up.

Will is once again NOT preparing for the NCO of the Quarter for Fort Gordon board that he has on Tuesday. Personally, I think that since he's made it this far, he should start trying to win. If he wins this one, he moves on to compete in the Army wide competition.

As for me, my news is all about the surgery and the cyst and the next surgery on Wednesday. I sincerely hope they can do it laproscopically so the recovery time is relatively short. I think if I'm laid up for 2-3 weeks Will may not come out alive. Watching him cook and "clean" and do all the other daily tasks has made me want to do violent things, especially since I left the house spotless and affairs in order when I left Tuesday. It's a helpless yet enraging feeling to be lying in a hospital bed and get a call from Liam's teacher 30 minutes after he should have been picked up asking where we were, and even more enraging to find out it was because Will was napping.

Deep breath. Deep breath.

We also broke in our Y membership yesterday. We got up early and headed over. We put the kids in the free daycare and Will and I worked out for an hour. Then we got the kids and swam for another hour. If we do it again, we'll leave Liam in the daycare while we swim. Last summer he couldn't get enough swimming in our pool. At the Y he was clutching us and screaming that he was going to die. Not much fun for all involved.

I have a different picture I thought about posting here, but it's so completely blasphemous and offensive that I just couldn't do it. E-mail me if you want me to send it to you.

That about covers the week. See? A novel. Sorry.

Here are some more old pictures of the kids:

Amelia, one day old

Liam, 7 months old (I think)

Ben's first day of first grade, August 2005

Friday, January 9, 2009

Woo hoo!

Guess who dodged the lady part cancer bullet for a third time? Me! The OB/GYN called this morning and the "eight pound cyst-baby" (description courtesy of Stephanie. Maybe I should have a cyst-baby naming contest...) was benign.

Last one, I swear. :)

So, onward to surgery again on Wednesday.

Also, I got to shower today for the first time since Tuesday. I'm almost happier about that than not having cancer. I said, almost! Geez, people.

And, I'm up and around and about to go shopping and am pretty much pain free.

The only bad thing about today is that I accidentally took two doses of stool softener (Look, general anesthesia slows your intestines way down. You'd need it too. ) instead of one dose of stool softener and one dose of Tylenol. That's a mistake I'll be paying for all day.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It could have been worse

As crazy as an eight pound ovarian cyst is, it could have been worse.

This poor woman had a ninety-three pound cyst!

Actually that wouldn't have been so bad. Just imagine it--I wake up from the anesthesia and the doctor says, "Mrs. Douglass, it turns out you don't need gastric bypass surgery after all. We just removed a hundred pound cyst. Go home and have some pizza."


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An eight pound bump in the road

So guess what? Someone still has not had gastric bypass surgery yet.

They started to do it and discovered an eight pound, bowling ball size ovarian cyst. Yes, you read that correctly. Eight pounds.

Not mine, but mine was about this size.

So, they removed it and are testing it to see if it's cancerous. If it's benign, I'll have the bypass surgery on Wednesday.

The last eight pound thing I had cut out of me was Liam.

This is the third time in my life that I've had to wait to hear if some part of my lady business is cancer-ridden. I wish they'd just take it all out. I'm done with them. Anybody need a slightly used uterus? A couple of defective ovaries? You can use them for parts.

I'm at home now, looped up on narcotics (so forgive me if this post is unintelligible). I have seven incisions and no tiny stomach to show for it (although I did drop a pants size). I feel like I was run over by a truck. And then stabbed multiple times in the torso as part of a gang initiation.

Is the room spinning for you guys, too? It sure is for me. Guess I should lie down.

Oh--but there is one bright streak in all of this. I can eat this week. Yay for food! When I stop puking from the anesthesia anyway.