Archive for October, 2009
This means nothing if you’re not in AAMI, but I finished 5A. I take a second to receive accolades for being so awesome… then move on to 6A, which is about four times as long and detailed. And then, I finish Orientation (which will be nothing compared to 6A), and start on my regular coursework and apprentice and then become a midwife.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the movies and out to eat with Emily, and when I got home Dustin said, “I didn’t get anything done and the kids drove me crazy!” Really? That’s so surprising! I usually accomplish at least… one-third of something I planned on, each day. (And on Friday night, my friend Joanna complained, “And another thing, my children are FORCING ME TO LIVE IN SQUALOR!” Yeah, here too. Squalor + dog hair = my house.)
This week the birth center has its final inspection, by the health department. Once it’s approved, we can have births there! Leigh and I met with someone who is due very very soon, and I hope she can have a birth there. It’s a gorgeous place, beautiful colors and ambiance, and just a really lovely place to have a baby. Particularly if your own house is full of squalor and dog hair.
Tuesday night was revolutionary: I didn’t have anything planned, and I went to Starbucks with my AAMI book and did homework for over two hours. I got so much work done, I’m almost ready to start on 5A and 6A, which are large, time-intensive assignments.
Doing homework without distraction — except for the occasional Starbucks employee asking me what I was studying — was amazing. I didn’t have to sit down in front of the computer and worry what the hell Sydney was getting into (right now, I am hearing rumors that she may have spilled an entire box of Goldfish crackers in the bathroom), or break up fights between the boys (even when Dustin is home, they still default to me), or look around the room and wonder what to do about the clutter. I just worked. I loved it. I felt so accomplished by the time I left. I definitely want to get out of the house to study at least twice a week. The problem is finding two night I can do it.
My family is over-scheduled, and I hate it. Monday nights are Cub Scouts (Dustin and boys), Tuesdays are therapy (me) and CSA (Dustin and kids), Wednesdays are puppy school (me), Thursdays I’m teaching CBE (just for this month; then not again for a few months), Friday is Nerd Night (Dustin), and Sunday — allegedly — Emily and I go out, although it’s been about a month (Emily, call me!) On top of this, the boys have baseball practice two nights a week, and games once a week! Also, I meet with the occasional doula client during the week.
I want to make changes. Baseball and my teaching and the CSA ends in two weeks, thank goodness. I’m happy for the boys and Dustin to do cub scouts because that’s only one night per week. As for me, I want to continue puppy school because I love it, and of course my apprenticeship and midwifery school, but the rest – HASTA LA VISTA. Well, except for therapy, but I can probably cut that down to twice a month — if I cut my schedule, we’ll definitely have less to talk about!
What I love about being a doula is helping women have good birth experiences, and that is increasingly more and more difficult in a hospital setting. Yes, a woman can have a good hospital experience, but it’s rare, and it involves a lot of fighting, which defeats the purpose. I don’t want to stop being a doula, but I do want to be more selective. It’s not worth my time away from my family unless the woman is willing to help herself; I can only provide support and advocacy. I’d rather just provide support in a better environment.
I enjoy teaching, and I’m a certified childbirth educator, but I do not feel as passionate about teaching as I do about my apprenticeship or midwifery school. I can teach, I can probably teach well, but it’s not really where my heart is, and I’d certainly rather be attending a prenatal or studying than teaching.
So I’m glad that will be over at the end of the month, and in the future I may defer back to Leigh. She taught as part of her curriculum, but I already am a CBE, and I have so many other things on my plate, teaching seems like it’s just another thing on my to-do list.
Off to do errands.
…to talk a little about my surgery. Has this extended illness been a blessing? My ass would say NO FREAKING WAY, but the rest of me says, “Well, uh, sort of, I guess.” Over the last month I have learned more about my body-after-surgery than I did in the last year. And I needed to learn these lessons.
I chose to have this somewhat complicated surgery that causes malabsorption called a Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Switch. I picked this surgery rather than a traditional Roux-N-Y or a Lap-Band because the DS has the most malabsorption — if not for that, how is any weight loss surgery going to work long-term? That, and at 5 years post op, most DS’ers have maintained 75% of excess weight loss, which is the highest percentage of any weight loss surgery.
Here’s a before and after, it’s been about 11 months and I’m at goal:
It wasn’t until six months post-op that I said I was glad I did it. I kept the attitude of, “I did it, and it’s done; it’s not good or bad,” rather than getting all emotional over it. I save getting all emotional for when I can wear something in a size medium, versus a size 4XL, which I was a year ago.
But of course it’s not magic. I take tons of supplements to compensate for the malabsorption. Sixty a day, easily, and that’s just the basics (vit A, D, E, K, C, zinc, iron, calcium, mag, copper, and several probiotics). At some point the lack of good bacteria in my gut (since so much of my small intestine is bypassed) plus the malabsorption combined to make me really sick — and I still haven’t gotten the balance back yet, but I’m better.
(By the way, I also keep the attitude of, morbid obesity has its own set of medical problems and issues! Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, stress incontinence, high blood pressure, the list goes on.)
But the DS-related illness has affected my midwifery career (ah, yes, I’m getting back into how this relates to midwifery!) I’ve been at births over the last year where I was feeling kind of sick, and it sucks, or I’ve had to stay home from prenatals or births because I was sick, and that sucks too. But now I’m finally figuring it out, thanks to about $300 in copays to a gastro-intestinal doctor who has worked with me, and my surgeon. What I do to prevent myself from getting sick:
1. Eat more protein. This seems like a no-brainer, but I think I was getting lazy about it. I’m a long-time carb addict, and since eating carbs didn’t affect my actual weight loss, I started eating them more frequently. And then getting sick.
2. Take a pancreatic enzyme. I take enough pancreatic enzyme to… I have no idea what. To be honest, I’m not even sure what a pancreatic enzyme does. But every time I see the GI doc, he gives me this wide-eyed look of horror when I tell him what dose I’m taking and that it’s not helping that much.
3. Take a good probiotic, eat yogurt daily. Right now I’m taking Align, which my mom and several DSers recommended.
4. If I start getting sick, stop eating for 12 hours. This was the hardest one for someone like me, who loves to eat (I would say I love to eat more than I love food). I’d get sick and keep eating and get sicker and until I was miserable. The GI doc wanted to keep trying different medicines, but I finally said that I wanted to see if what I’m putting in my body is causing issues. It was another no-brainer. Avoiding food for 12 hours after I’m sick can stop the illness from lasting or continuing, and then by the time I eat again, I’m happy to stick to all protein.
I’m a stubborn woman who likes to do things my way. But this sickness has helped me figure out that I can’t do everything my way, I have to do it the best way. So I’m glad I got sick, for that reason, and because I learned how to deal with it. And also because all the time on the toilet got me to goal weight!