Stressing

Surgery is in 16 days and I am stressing a little. Not about the surgery itself, but about some things that go along with it.

I need to book a Covid-19 test three days before the surgery. They gave me a few clinics I can go to. I spent a lot of time on the phone with two of them today, trying to schedule a test, and never spoke to a human. Jen reminded me that today is a state holiday in Massachusetts, so that might be why. Still… if you’re not home today, add that to your voice message.

I haven’t had caffeine since February 3rd (I think). I haven’t missed it. Even last Wednesday when I did my 38 hour sleep-free stretch, I was never wishing I could have some caffeine. I am today though. I am jonzing go-juice in a big way. I’m exhausted and I could really use a little help staying focused. I can’t though. I can never have caffeine again.

I do have one little piece of good news, surgically speaking. I checked the documentation they gave me to see what restrictions there are on lifting things immediately post-op. It says not to lift anything over 25 pounds for six weeks after the surgery. Why is that important to me? The average weight of a Gibson Les Paul is around 10 pounds. That’s a ton in the guitar world, but it’s far below my limit. Sigh of musical relief.

Vitamins

The age of Taking Vitamins has begun.

There are four vitamins I need to take post-weight loss surgery and the dietician suggested I start now. I will now be taking three pills with breakfast and two each with lunch and dinner. I think I need a pill caddie, babie.

I took the three with breakfast today even though I don’t eat breakfast. That’s about to change too, but for now I just took the three pills. I had a moment of brain fry with lunch. I have to stop drinking anything 15 minutes before I eat and 60 minutes after. I made myself some lunch and started eating. Then I remembered the pills. Okay, so today’s lunch pills will be approximately 60 minutes after lunch. I’ll figure this out.

The food log is still going, sort of. I haven’t started measuring yet but I am keeping track. I also haven’t started working off the meal plan the dietician gave me. I think that starts next week. I’m also supposed to replace breakfast with a protein shake. I have the shake mix but I won’t have fat free milk to mix it into until over the weekend, so the shakes start next week too.

I still haven’t had any caffeine or soda since February 3rd. That’s going well. The no drinking with food thing is a serious bitch. I keep forgetting about that. It’s resulting in me drinking less water and it might be resulting in me eating less food, but it’s also a pain in the ass to keep on top of. I’ll get there though.

My next appointment is next week with the Psych folks. Oh, am I looking forward to that.*

Okay, back to work. I am just over three hours away from a full week vacation and I really, really need it right now. Freedom is close, but there is a lot of work still in the way.


*Sarcasm. Or #sarcasm, if you prefer.

Bio-Break Blues

One thing I’ve read* about drinking soda is that it dehydrates you. I’m pretty sure it’s the Carbon Dioxide in the carbonation that does it, but caffeine might play a role too. I could Google that but I’m lazy. The effect of drinking lots of soda all day long is that you are drying your insides out. Sort of.

So what happens when you stop drinking soda? I suppose that all depends on what you replace it with. In my case, I have replaced it with water. So what happens when you stop drinking soda all day and start drinking water all day?

Well… you don’t get dehydrated, right? Okay, so what does that mean? It means a lot of things, none of which I know anything about what with me knowing dick about biology. One thing I do have a lot of knowledge about is… well… it’s embarrassing and well into TMI territory but…

…I am peeing all the time. I am living in Urination Nation right now. I’m really lucky that there is a bathroom attached to the room I spend all day working in because I only have to take about 8 steps and I’m ready to go. I am most definitely not taking the piss when I say that every five minutes I am taking a piss. It feels like every time I manage to drain the main vein it is full again within 20-30 minutes.

The math seems to work out: Drink water all day = Taking a leak all day. Even Geordi La Forge would understand that**.


*Maybe if I had proof read this post I would have noticed that there was a typo on the fourth effin’ word. I fixed it, but come on, Robert.

**Remember that scene from Star Trek First Contact when Zephram Cochran has to explain to Geordi what taking a leak means and Geordi thinks it’s the funniest thing he’s heard in years?

Banned Things

Over the last 5-6 months or so I have banned some things from my life. Well, banned or boycott. Whichever is more appropriate. How am I doing on these things?

The most recent ban started six days ago when I started working to remove carbonated beverages and caffeine from my diet. If I am going to go through with the weight loss surgery process, then these two items will be permanently removed from my diet forever and ever. Apparently they are both stomach irritants and when you surgically mangle the stomach the way I plan to, then irritants are really bad.

I first learned of this development on Thursday 2/3 and my first day without either of them was Friday 2/4. I’ve made it six days. So far so good, I guess, but it’s definitely not a second nature sort of thing yet. Not even close. My quarantine routine over the last 23-24 months has involved filling up a bottle of water before I go to bed (with grape flavoring, always). If I don’t finish the bottle then I finish it the next day, but not until sometime in the afternoon. I’d have soda, diet pepsi, in the morning and early afternoon. Caffeine and soda. Now I am just drinking water all the time so the night time water bottle carries into the morning. That probably sounds more complicated than it is, but the point here is that every morning I continue to leave the water bottle next to my bed as if I was going to have a morning soda. No. You’re not. Six days on and I still forget that I am not drinking soda anymore pretty much every morning. That needs to end.

So the dietary bans are still going well, though not quite a routine yet. What was the other ban? Facebook. August 27, 2021 was the day I sort of spur of the moment banned Facebook from my life. That was a little more then five months ago. It looks like five months is pretty much long enough to get to the point where I don’t even notice it anymore. It hasn’t been 100%, but I think I can count the number of times I’ve visited on one hand. FoMO brought me back to clear off some notifications once, and once I went on to just mention I wasn’t going on anymore. That was probably pointless. The last time was a couple of weeks ago when I found out one of my Aunts wasn’t well and I checked my cousins accounts to see if I could learn anything. I was only on for a few minutes but I’ll fess up and admit I was there.

Other than those few times I’ve been able to stay away. I don’t think about it anymore. In fact, I got a notifications email the other day for the Lizardfish group and I had to look at it twice to remember what it was talking about. Sometimes it needles me, like when a YouTube show or a podcast that I am a regular viewer/listener of makes a mention of their respective Facebook groups, of which I am a member, and I don’t know what’s going on. I feel out of the loop. FoMO starts creeping in, but I forget about it quickly enough.

So my personal cancel culture targets are still going strong. Facebook is a big nothing to me now. Caffeine and carbonated drinks are going to be tougher to deal with. I can do it though. Absolutely.

Sleep Check

One full day without caffeine followed by one night’s sleep.

Q: Did it have any effect?
A: I don’t know.

I got eight hours of sleep last night, which is both good and rare, but it has more to do with today being Saturday than anything else. We went to bed around 11:00 last night and I was out like a light almost immediately. That is likely a side effect. The sleep numbers that my watch tracked were average, I guess. Not too different than the last couple of weeks. My restful sleep percentage might have been a touch higher but not much.

That’s one night. I wonder how things will look/feel after a few weeks/months?

Let’s find out.

Fun with Caffeine

It’s been more than 24 hours since I’ve consumed any caffeine. Probably closer to 28 hours, maybe.

28 loooong, caffeine free hours.

As expected, I am really tired right now. Not so much that it’s a distraction, but I am feeling it. What I was not expecting, but probably should have, is the headache. It’s not bad, it’s just there. Is it too soon to start having caffeine withdrawals? Is it psychosomatic (probably)? Am I going to sleep better tonight? I hope so.

Caffeine Free

I am going to start this today. Oh shit.

During my weight loss surgery appointment yesterday I was told that my future includes a permanent ban on both caffeine and carbonated drinks. People who know me know that caffeine and carbonation are literally two of my personal four food groups. The whole process is going to suck and be really difficult, but as of this moment I am thinking that caffeine and carbonation are going to be the biggest, most difficult change. I mean, we literally have four 12-packs of diet pepsi in the house at this moment.

I also had a pretty crappy night’s sleep last night and I am guessing ’round about 2:00pm I am going to be seriously wishing I could have some caffeine.

Nope.

This is what my future looks like.

Sick Time

Just thinking ahead on this whole redesigning my internal organs discussion. I asked what the recovery time would look like. They said they recommend you stay out of work for 3-4 weeks while you re-teach your newly remodeled stomach how to handle different types of food. As of right now I have enough sick time banked to be out for half day shy of five weeks. I’ll have to use some of that for the slew of appointments I need to make before the surgery, but I think I am in good shape. I have a ton of vacation time that needs to be used too. Maybe some of those appointments will use vacation time instead of sick time. Maybe.

We’re supposed to have a storm tonight. I keep trying to get a forecast that gives a snow estimate but they all just say a mix of snow and freezing rain. No accumulation estimates. I think that’s a good thing. Freezing rain blows chunks but it’s better than snow, at least as far as shoveling the driveway and plowing the streets are concerned. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Have I mentioned Weather Kitty yet? It’s a weather app for iOS (I don’t know about other platforms, mostly because I don’t use them so I don’t care). It combines weather forecasts with adorable kitties. If that’s your thing, you should check it out.

So… no more caffeine and no more carbonated drinks. I had a diet pepsi before the appointment. I’ve had one since. I’m not going to say that those are the last two sodas I’ll have in my life. I am not even going to say they are the last two sodas I’ll have before the surgery… but they could be. It’s possible. Don’t hold your breath or anything, but it is possible.

This is going to be difficult. It’s also going to be worth it, but it is going to be difficult.

Can’t Sleep

I think I hit the caffeine a little too hard today. It’s quarter to 11:00pm and I can’t sleep. I haven’t tried very hard. I’m just bright eyed and bushy tailed. I’m hoping for some car music tomorrow so a good nights sleep would be helpful. Nope. Doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Oh well.

I started watching The Peacemaker last night. It’s every bit of the foul, goofy, raunchy, goodness you’d expect from a spin off of The Suicide Squad. I started watching Yellowjackets tonight. I’ve been seeing people raving about it all over the social media universe (except for that one platform, right?) and after one episode it’s already living up to the hype. I mean, what the hell???

We re-potted the three bedroom plants last night and I watered them today. I don’t think I killed them, but knowing my gardening skills they are probably at death’s door. Sorry, bros.

I mentioned the doctor visit I have on Wednesday. Also on the agenda is a haircut, I think. We know I’m freaking out over the weight loss surgery process, but I’m also freaking out about Covid exposure. Two vaccine shots, a booster, and a kick ass mask should be enough to keep me safe, but in these insane omicron times? Who knows. If I do get it, the three shots should keep it from getting out of control, but with my weight?

No, Robert. Stay optimistic. Focus on the power of positive thinking and all of that crap.

Okay, I think I’m going to head over to the YouTubes and watch some guitar videos. Mr Dumble (I don’t know his name), the man behind Dumble amplifiers has apparently passed away. Maybe I’ll look his amps up. If I find something good I’ll share it.

Wrapping Up

My parent sitting shift is coming to an end soon. It’s going to run a smidge late tonight, I think but that’s okay. I still don’t feel comfortable (or confident) in sharing what’s been happening, though the images from the last 24 hours probably paint a pretty good picture.

After my three hours and 20 minutes of sleep overnight last night, I have been more or less taking Diet Pepsi via an IV directly into my veins. Anything to keep my system as caffeinated as humanly possible. Give me that caramel colored, carbonated, caffeinated, gold.

Further proof that things are changing on the parent sitting front, I am going home tonight and coming back in the morning. Current theory is I’ll get here at some time between 8:00 and 9:00. I’m sure there will be further discussion between the siblings tonight. I might be asleep though. I’ll likely be sleep-texting or something 21st century like that.

I was off work today and most of the goings on were wrapped up before noon. That means I had a lot of time to mess around with 50/90. I got some work done, but not as much as I should have. The whole no-sleep thing held me back a little, I think.

I’m sure there are other things I would normally write about at this point, but I think I am going to wrap it up and put my computer away. Jen and I are going to have a simple dinner tonight. I miss her like crazy after being away for 24 hours. I wanna go home. I wanna see her. I need to give my sweetie a hug (or two).

Right then, clicking Publish now. Until next time….