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It's getting real…

It is now less than three weeks before my gastric bypass surgery and the reality of it is finally hitting me.

To this point, I was really only focused on the long-term results, not the drastic lifestyle changes I'm going to have to live with for the rest of my life. I am not doubting my decision to go with surgery, I firmly believe this is the best option for me, but fears of being able to keep up with these changes for the rest of my life and still being "me" at the end of this process are starting to creep in.

In the past, I have always been able to keep up with diets only to a certain point. Once I reach a plateau, I tend to give up and then "rebel" against the diet. I cannot do that this time, as it will mean serious medical complications if I do. I believe, because of the motivator of potential severe consequences, that I will be able to avoid this behavior but one of my greatest fears is that I slip back and regain weight and end up right back where I started. I know this possible, I've seen cases where it has happened, but I do not feel it is likely in my case.

My second greatest fear is that this surgery will make me a completely different person. I know some of you might be thinking, "But isn't that why you are having this surgery, Alana? To change who you are?". Yes, and no. I want to shed these pounds and become healthier and more active than I could be with all this insulation. I also want to gain self-confidence in certain areas of my life that I lack because of the way I look. However, I really do like who I am inside and I do not want that to change. I do not want lose my essential "me-ness", all the things that have gotten me to this point in my career, that have gotten me my independent life and my wonderful group of friends. Several people have said I am going to be a completely different person; I don't want to be a different person, I just want to be Alana 2.0.

I think that no matter what happens with this surgery, as long as I keep in mind who I am doing this for, I will succeed. I am not doing this surgery for my family, for my friends, or for a significant other or the hope therefore. I am doing this for me, to feel better for and about myself and to live a hopefully much longer life to the fullest. Anyone who goes into this surgery thinking they are doing it for anyone besides themselves is setting themselves up for failure.

That begin said, I will not be able to do this on my own. I will need the help of all of my friends and family to get through the next several months. I will need your support, your understanding and your watchful eyes when I inevitably push myself too far, too fast (I am a Beltzer, after all :) ), just as your support has helped me get to this point. As the Beatles said, I'll get by with a little help from my friends.

Moving on up...

Having recently been given a Dreamwidth invite by a wonderful co-worker, I am in the process of moving my journaling/community watching over there. I don't intend to erase this journal but I'm not going to be posting here any more either. If I can find away to transfer my LJ content over to Dreamwidth then I might close this journal; LJ is just getting too annoying, both with their policies and their pop-up ads.

If you are over at DW or are looking to be, you can find me there as Alstaria as well.


The last few days have been spent sitting in a hospital room and talking to doctors. Mom seems to recognize I'm here but I don't know if she understands anything beyond that. The family, with the advice of the doctors, has decided to move Mom to pallative care once my Aunt Beth gets here from San Diego. This means that on Weds. She'll be removed from the ventilator. After that, it could be a few hours or a few days..but in all liklihood it won't be very long.

Time to say goodbye

This morning the lawyer's office called to tell me that Mom has taken a turn for the worse. I called the hospital and they said that even on the ventilator her stats, like her oxygen level, are falling. Even if she makes it through tomorrow, when I get into town, the family is going to have to decide whether to keep her on the ventilator or to let her go.

Even though I've rehearsed this scene in my head over and over the last few years, I still feel I'm not prepared to deal with the reality of this. I alternate between crying and being numb. I feel like there's so much I should be doing but besides packing and getting on the plane in the morning there's really not much I can do. Whatever happens is going to happen..there's nothing I can do to stop it.

I've debated all morning whether to write this. I put a cryptic message on my Facebook that I think scared people and I'm sorry for that. I've never been one to hide my feelings from the world so sharing this online feels right in the end. I apologize to any family that finds out about this from my LJ or Facebook and not from me directly. It's not how I'd want to find out either but I can't handle making any more phone calls right now.


First meeting with the diet people

So yesterday I had my first meeting with the lady from the Occupational Therapy dept. This part of the diet plan I am required to do before having my surgery. The meeting went well, even though I initially went to the wrong location and then tripped on the stairs going into the actual location.

The first meeting basically covered goals and the diet plan. The diet plan is similar to WW but with counting calories instead of points. I may still follow the points as a general guideline anyway. My homework this week is to do the dreaded yet necessary food journal.

The coolest thing about the meeting was the high tech scale they use. Using electric pulses it measures not only weight but BMI, fat mass, fat percentage, water weight, etc. In the push for accountability, I'll post those numbers here when I get home. All in all, I think this one-on-one diet is going to be good for me, no more hiding in the group, not participate like I was at WW.

In non-diet related news, I won an a leadership award for excellence in Customer Service from my department today. It was completely unexpected and I am still kind of shocked by it. Having people tell you your valuable to an entire department is, well, rather awesome :)

Until next time...


Journal/Life reboot

So, uh, yeah..it's been awhile, hasn't it. I haven't felt much like writing because besides work most of my life seems to consist of calling hospitals and nursing homes these days. Those subjects don't make for the best of journal entries. But there's now major change on the horizon for me and I feel the need to write about it.

I have decided to have gastric bypass surgery. Having been overweight since I was 10 and having been diagnosed a couple of years ago as a Type II Diabetic, my primary care doc mentioned this as something I should look into at my last physical in March. I dragged my feet a bit, thinking about if for a couple of months, but I finally attended the seminar the USC program requires of potential patients at the beginning of October. I was really impressed by the depth of information presented and the credentials of both the program and the surgeons involved. The next Monday I called and scheduled an initial consult with the surgeon and I met with him on Friday. After going over my medical history, he declared me an ideal candidate. My surgery will be some time in Feb. or March.

But before I can schedule the surgery, USC requires me to attend a 16 week weight loss program that is overseen by their Occupational Therapy department. I actually like this fact as t will give me more time to get ready for the surgery and, hopefully, some more tools for eating right.

My surgeon is this guy and I will having a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery. I'll be in the hospital one night and then off work for 2 weeks. Most patients that have this surgery lose 70-80% of their excess weight in a year.

I'm really excited about this new chapter in my life and hope to use this journal as a place to write down my thoughts and feelings throughout the process and also, more importantly, post progress pictures.

If you don't want to hear about all this, you can go ahead and unfriend this journal. I'm not going to filter these entries as it's going to be most of what I write about over the next year or two. I hope you choose to stay, as always, I'm going to need my friends to help me make it through. :)

Feb. 3rd, 2009

nothing to see here...move along...move along

More Kitty Pics!

The fabulous girlfmkitty sent my gang some nippy toys for the holidays and asked for pics of Mer and Lou playing with them in return. I figured I'd share the pics here since everyone has been asking me for more pics of my furry little elves. Enjoy!

Here there be kitties!Collapse )


It was very quiet in the bedroom. Too quiet. For the past few weeks, it's either sounded like the running of the bulls in there or like the there was a slow air leak (many hisses) when I haven't been there to separate the siblings.

So imagine my surprise when I rounded the corner and saw this:


Mer then decided to groom Lou, but I was too slow to get a pic of that. But, yay!, they do like each other!

Prop 8: The Musical

presented by the "Sacramento Community College Players"

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die


The Good Faery

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March 2010



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