Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm not crazy...my doctor had me tested!

Sorry - I couldn't resist the Sheldon Cooper reference for any Big Bang theory fans.

I've officially been psychologically approved for surgery and I honestly didn't expect to feel so relieved about that :) 

One thing I can say for sure is that I'm a huge fan of my psychologist - not just because he approved me but because I feel like he's really there for me and all the others on this crazy journey. At one point during the evaluation I was telling him about the weight I had gained after the Peachtree and the 3-Day and I looked at him all teary-eyed and I could see he TRULY got it. He said "that must have been so hard" and he really meant it. I felt like he was the first person ever that didn't blow it off as "water weight" or "muscle mass" and understood what that does to my head.

** Quick rant -  you may agree or disagree - I had a 3 hour psychological evaluation for elective surgery but you don't have to have that to get a gun. Rant over! **

The best part of being a huge fan of my shrink (can I call him that?? Do people still say that??) Could say therapist instead but that kind of seems like it downplays his expertise in his field. Anyway, he holds several support groups monthly and I feel like it's an honor to have access to that kind of support. Before and after! Tomorrow night will be one of the largest I've been to and my husband will be coming with me. I never thought that would be something I looked forward to but then again exercise was the same way.

I'm in the process of reading everything I can get my hands on in order to be as prepared and successful as I can be. There's some but not a ton out there which is why I've started tagging my posts if there's anyone out there like me struggling to find a more 'real life' account because I've read all the medical info there is!

Chances are pretty good that I won't post again until after Christmas unless anything big comes up. I think it's important to document the process but I don't want to blah blah blah on about in every post either! I'm trying not to be like one of those people that has a baby and that's all they ever talk about and they lose themselves in all of it.

Finally, hugs to all the parents and teachers. I'm totally devastated by the shootings in CT and I can't even imagine how much harder it would be if I were a parent, or a teacher or both.

God bless you all and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This one's a doozie...

Yes it's been a really long time and this is going to be a really long post so grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair!


I last blogged as I was leaving for the 3 day. As always it was life changing experience. Full of joy, pain, happiness, sadness and by God was I tired and dirty by the end of every day :) This year I stayed in a hotel so I could soak my feet in epsom salt. It helped a lot with my tendonitis but I still got wicked blisters and just suffered through it. Every night when I got back to my room I would feel like there was no way in hell I was going to be able to do it again the next day...but I did.

I was by myself this year (which is actually really nice!) but of course I met a friend right away and kept each other going! I walked with Flat Carol, my cardboard tribute to my Aunt who passed away last year. She was a huge hit. People got to know her and would say hey to Flat Carol each day.

We walked and talked with a woman for a few miles who was 38, had 3 kids and had to go back to chemo the Tuesday after the walk - I would have never known if she hadn't taken off her hat. That moment was a big one for me which I promise I will come back to.

After 3 long days. 8 hours of walking every day. 60 miles and then some. My husband and friends were waiting for me at the finish line. Words cannot express how great that feels.
The joy was fleeting. I gained 8 pounds. 


I missed running after training for the 3-Day so I started that again right away. I did my first ever Thanksgiving Day 5k! It was a beautiful day and a great race. The 5k finished with the elite of the half marathon that was going on simultaneously and they were sprinting past us. If all goes according to plan, I will be doing the half next year. I highly recommend a race on Thanksgiving morning. What an amazing way to start the day!
 I gained 6 pounds for Thanksgiving.  


My 43rd birthday was December 8th. It was one of the best birthdays I've ever had - filled with joy, love, friends and fun. I could not ask for a better life.

Except for one thing.

Something very strange happened to me somewhere between November and December. I was driving on the highway in downtown Atlanta. 16 lanes of rush hour traffic and for whatever reason, I get a message -a revelation of sorts. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before but I guess sometimes when you ask for answers, you get them when you least expect it. I pulled over and I cried my eyes out for 20 minutes because I knew it was true.

The message was simple. It's time for surgery.

Sometime in late January I'm having a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. When I found out my insurance covers almost all of it, I knew it was going to happen.

I may be crazy but I doubt it and luckily this process requires that a qualified professional make that decision for me. I'm going through that part of the process right now and taking none of it lightly.

My first psychological evaluation was on Tuesday and it was almost 4 hours. I should know by Monday if I'm cleared to move forward or if I'll be put on hold for more extensive therapy. I don't mind either way because I want to do whatever I need to do to be successful.

If you are reading this and think that weight loss surgery is giving up or being lazy, I urge you to go back and read the beginning of this post. Especially the part about walking 60 miles with women who are undergoing treatment for cancer. They aren't giving up and neither am I. Something is WRONG with me and how I process food. That's going to get fixed and the rest of it, the psychologist and my amazing network of supporters will help me deal with.

My reason is simple. I want to be the athlete that's inside of me. I want to be real yogi. In fact, I want to teach yoga when this is all said and done.  I don't see one ounce of "laziness" or "giving up" in that statement. I just can't drag this hundred pounds around with me anymore on my 5ks, 10ks and 3-Days. It's going to kill me.

When my friend Crys announced her decision to the blogosphere, she got a lot of hate. Like her, I will just delete it and really not care but she has lost 100 pounds in 6 months and has changed her life. Go have a look...your jaw will drop. She has been a huge support and a wonderful friend. We go to support groups together and have met some amazing people. Several who formerly 300+ pound marathon runners. It's all so inspiring and totally exciting.

Don't get me wrong. I have my fears. Mostly of sagging skin which is really stupid when you think about it. I worry about making the wrong decision about what surgery to have though the doctors are all leaning toward the sleeve since I don't have diabetes and it's less invasive.

I met with the dietician who I adore and she put my mind at ease about being able to eat enough to fuel my athletic endeavors. The army of doctors and professionals who have been and will be part of this process are some of the best in the world. They are easing my fears and I'm ready.

I have a few more steps to take. If the psychologist clears me I see the pulmonologist right after Christmas and he may require a sleep study. If they give me the go ahead that's it except for one more appointment with the dietician and then all the pre-surgery blood work.

Whew. I can't believe I finally wrote this post. I hope all my loyal readers and die hard supporters will continue to follow my journey. I can promise you one thing...it will be interesting!!!!

If you have any questions just email me. tinatait(at)gmail(dot)com.