Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why I Do It

A really good friend of mine asked me jokingly this week when I was going to stop posting nearly naked pictures of myself up on the internets.  I laughed and said maybe when I am all healed up.... but maybe never. 

Naw.  The nearly naked pictures will stop.  Eventually.

So why have I done it?  Why am I continuing to do it?

New Years Eve.  Start of a new year tomorrow.  You making any resolutions?  I do.  Every year.  But I am goal setter by nature and I need structure in my life.  I have come to terms with my personality type and I work best with goals.  Oh... and nice lists written with a black pen.  Must be black.

So, are you making a goal to becoming healthier?  Stronger?  Eat better?  Lose weight?

I made that same resolution year after year for as long as I can remember.  But I needed a tool... an intervention of sorts.  So 26 months ago I changed my life and had gastric sleeve surgery.  A tool to help me with my eating addiction.  If you are a long time follower of this blog you have seen it all.  From the pictures of my stomach being cut out, to my losing a heck of a lot of weight, to my most recent skin surgery.

The best part of sharing it all?  The comments.  I cannot tell you how many people have written me through here, or sent me messages on facebook, or stopped me in person and thanked me for my honesty in sharing the entire process I have gone through.  I have had a lot of ups and downs.  Eating addiction is serious.  Just as serious as a drug or alcohol addiction.  When people thank me and say I have helped them on their own path to becoming healthy, it encourages me to keep on the right path too.  A number of people who have followed me on here on the blog or know me in person have pursued weight loss surgery after finding strength in seeing someone they know go through with it and find success.  Others have gone about becoming healthy using other methods of eating changes and exercise.  I am honoured that I have been able to help people to become healthier.

I never want to go back to what I was.  Yes, I was still me and I was a good person, a happy person, a loving person.  But I had an early expiry date.  An expiry date that probably wouldn't have let me see my grandchildren for long.  Heck, maybe not even see grandchildren.  I was 320lbs when I was 32 years old.  And my weight just kept going up.  Easily 10lbs a year.  My boys needed me and I needed my life and my family.

So I will keep on blogging weekly throughout the healing of this recent surgery.  Even with nearly naked photos with silly hearts covering my girly bits.

To those of you making the resolution to become healthy in the new year?  Go ahead.  Make the resolution.  But find a way to help you follow through.  Reach out for help.  Write down your plans and maybe not act on them right away until you have a real plan in place.  Find a support group.  Talk to your doctor.  Talk to a mental health worker if you think you may have an eating addiction.  You can get healthy this year.  You can be successful in this change in your life.  Want it.  Work towards it.  And surgery is not an easy way out if you are thinking that.  Hardest couple of years of my life.  It is just a tool.  Look into the tool if you think it might be helpful in your life.

Make the resolution.  There is always room for change in your life.  And having a bit of extra room in your pants feels pretty good too.   :)

Baby Hunter and I making banana bread.  2008

New born Cavan! 2009

Pushing Hunter on the streets of Kugluktuk! 2007

Just when we were a family of three! 2008

Hunter and I on the other member of our family- Betty the Quad.  2011

Camping with Hunter and reading our favorite book. 2009

Today.  Last day of 2013.  Expiry Date?  Hopefully a long fucking time away.

Lego Love

This house loves lego.  We have build offs on the weekends where the parents take no mercy and completely kick ass.

My kids get limited ipad time in the morning (40m or less).  You know what makes me happy?  When you see your kid opt to put the ipad down and go back to lego.

The lego website has some great articles about brain development, relationships, creativity, and more that are so interesting.  I really enjoyed this one today on building sibling relationships through playing with lego.  Yes, 85% of the time lego play starts and ends in wars between my boys (someone destroys something, someone steals a piece, etc), but then there is that other 15%.  Where one says to the other, "Wow!  That is awesome!"  or "Can you help me build a ...?"

Lego is the shit.

We have gotten most of ours second hand and are always on the look out for more.  But I am an organizational junkie and the big rubbermaid of it was driving (and the kids) crazy.  My mother saw this set up at costco and told me about it.  I convinced her and my dad to get it for the boys for Christmas.  Bliss!  Matt and I spent about six hours organizing the rubbermaid of lego we have and I know it is all for naught since in a few weeks it will all be mixed up again.  But what the hell.  It looked good for a photo!  And at least it is all spread out enough that they can find piece without getting frustrating digging through the deep rubbermaid.

So where is the stand?  In our living room.  Right next to the coffee table that serves as a giant building table.  Yep.  We are all set for weekend build-offs.

Hunter starting the sort.

Matt and Hunter still sorting!

Done!!!  And still space for pounds and pounds more. 

Friday, December 27, 2013


Despite being laid up in a recliner most of the holidays, this was by far the best Christmas we have ever had.  My house was barely decorated (as compared to other years), we hosted no gatherings, I only baked one type of cookie, and I felt zero stress.

I think normally I drive my husband mad over the holiday season.  I want things perfect and I love to host gatherings, but it is a lot of work!   And..... I am also just completely high strung at the best of times, but then you add a bit of holiday stress?  Yeah....  

So the trick to a great holiday at the Went Household is to keep the mama drugged up.   ahahahahaha

Christmas evening we went to church and then to a friend's house for a big seafood binge party afterwards.  Christmas day we lounged in our pj's all day and did a heck of a lot of nothing.  I made my mother's traditional holiday breakfast which we ate for supper.  We all played with our new toys.  Boxing day we went to another friend's house for a big supper that was absolutely amazing- good friends, good food, and good fun.

And then Boxing Day night.... the pukes hit.  Cavan is most definitely sick as he was up puking all last night.  I think I have it but am in denial.  I have only puked once, but have zero appetite and don't feel so great.  At least the pukes held off until after all the festivities!

And photos of the fun that was had:

Baking and decorating cookies.

Modeling some new nighties from a friend!

A slew of kids in their new Christmas Eve pj's.

Everything is ready for Santa and his reindeer.

Lots of presents and hugs were exchanged.

Happy mama with her new hiking pack!

My super heroes in their new pj's!

New snowsuits thanks to their east coast grandparents!

Our big supper on Boxing day!

Great company!

Kids way too buzzed on sugar!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bum Watch Week 7

I thought by week 7 I would be good.  I would be cleaning my own house, cooking all the meals, heck maybe even going for walks with the kids.

Yeah.  Not there yet.

I still get exhausted easily.  Just this afternoon I did a few tasks and it left me nearly passing out in the bathroom.  What did I do?   Prepped a casserole (took maybe 15 minutes), had a long shower so I could shave my legs, had Matt take my seven week photos, got my dressings changed and WHAM.  Again.  Exhausted and nearly passed out in the bathroom.  I think I will go and get my blood work done next week and see if my iron or something is low and that is contributing to the exhaustion.  Or maybe this really just is how my body deals with healing.

And yes, I am blogging about my week 7 body pictures before I blog about Christmas.  That is because we are having our big supper tonight with friends.  So nearly naked Kara photos get to take priority!

Changes I have noticed?  Some abdominal swelling is down and my batsuits are getting loose.  Two new ones should be arriving by next week sometime.  My thighs feel less tight from swelling.  And evenings are still hell.  By the end of the day I feel like I am going to explode, especially if I have been out visiting or doing a bit more around the house than I should.  I have reduced my pain medication drastically and am down to maybe one percocet a day.  Valium I have found really helps relax my muscles before bed and the rest of the time I just use extra strength Tylenol.  I have ordered some Tylenol PM to help me relax and get to sleep. 

My seroma is leaking a lot less, but there is a larger hole behind that wee hole.  I don't think it will open up much though since the incision lines there are healed so well.  I hope it just heals up well!

My right hip wound is filling in a little bit, it gives me zero pain, but is definitely gross to look at.  The boys are fascinated with looking at it!

Bum hole is nearly healed right up!   My bum in general still looks funny from the thigh swelling and that left cheek I fear is going to be smaller even when the swelling ends.  Ah well.  Still better than the massive rear end I had back there before!

My goal starting next week is to try with just walking around the block.  It is a 1km loop and I know enough people that if I get tired, I can just stop in for coffee somewhere.  And to get back off the carbs.  Holiday eating is hard!  But my weight is still just sitting at 166lbs.  Still shocks me to write that number.  The lowest I was after surgery was 163, but I wasn't eating much at that point.  I am surprised my weight isn't higher with all the holiday snacks I have been enjoying.  I will be going through some serious sugar detox in the new year!

And photos! 


Modeling Christmas undies from a friend!

My abdominal swelling is coming down a  lot!

Me and my lopsided bum!  Still very curious to see it looks like in another two months.

Bit less swelling even in the upper pubic region

My bum over the last few weeks!  On the right is today.  Hole is small!!

Seroma hole.  When Matt probes it with a q-tip he can tell there is a bigger hole under there and I am just hoping it won't open up any more.

Right hip wound.  Not nearly as deep as it was.
Left thigh healing up slowly but surely.

Right thigh is freaking stellar!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Festivities!

Even in my state, I have been able to get out and about around the community for some fun events.  And even stay in the house for some fun events.  I feel a bit out of sorts this season with not being able to do as much as I usually do.  It has been a lot less volunteer work and I miss it immensely.  I haven't been baking for the neighbours and kids like I usually do, but that is probably better for all of our butts!     :)

Photos of the fun we have been up to:

Daddy's Birthday was on the 3rd!  My friend made him a gluten free birthday cake.

School photo K4!

School photo Grade 1

Attempting to tell Santa that he has been good.....

His mouth says he was good.... his eyes say otherwise.

The boys have been helpful in tucking me into bed.

Matt managed to find the world's fugliest tree.  And he is rather proud of his kill.

Drilling holes to add extra branches.....

Well.  Lights fix nearly anything.

Dressed up for the school concert!  So handsome.

K4/K5 Christmas concert.  Cavan is 4th from left.  Reindeer Hokey Pokey!

Grand 1/2 Christmas Concert.  Hunter is third from the left.



Letter to Santa!

Letter to Santa!  Both boys just asked for a cool surprise.

Fun at the rink even for mama!  The boys pushed me around on a chair!

Community skate with Santa!!  So much fun!

Santa is pretty good on his skates!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bum/Seroma Watch Week 6

Well a lot more interesting/absolutely disgusting things to post about this week as compared to last week!

Last week we saw a wee hole on my right hip.  Meh.  No big deal.  Put some special wound gel on it and WHAM over night we see the wee hole had been hiding a giant hole underneath!  We are treating it just like the giant hole I have on the butt and it is already showing a lot of improvement.  It will take probably 6 weeks or more to fill in, but I should be fine.  It just looks really disgusting right now!

Bum hole is filling is so well!  The picture Matt too doesn't do it justice as to how much it has improved. It is also causing me a lot less discomfort while sitting; super bonus since I am still spending most of my time sitting.

Left inner thigh wound looks awesome.  Filled right up.  A couple of smaller wounds on the inner thigh are still being treated with antibiotic cream and another couple of weeks and they should look great.  My one thigh has zero issues and looks awesome! 

For the last week though I have been struggling with a hellish charlie horse in my left outer upper thigh and lower left butt.  I had been trying hot and cold compresses, massaging it... nothing was working.  There happened to be a doctor in Faro this week so I went to get some prescriptions filled and have her just check out my wounds as well.  So, close to where this pain is, there was a very small wound on the surface along the incision line.  The doctor took out this long q-tip probe to clean it off and WHAM!  The probe went right through the surface wound, went down about 1.5" and liquid started gushing out!! I mean gushing.  She grabbed a garbage can and I had to try and stand over it while liquid poured down my leg.  As we massaged my left side more and more fluid came out.  We are guessing at least 250ml came out.  And it is still draining!!!!   I have the small hole covered in gauze and then I put a wash cloth in folded over 4x.  It is soaked through within 2 hours.  Last night I soaked through all my sleeping wear and a few layers of a blanket.  So gross!  Yes I am incredibly relieved that we had a doctor in town and she found that problem!  It is called a seroma.  Just a build of a liquid that my body was taking a very long time to absorb. 

Also when I saw the doctor she looked at a couple of the inner thigh wounds and decided to scrape off the tops with a scalpel.  Thank god I still have no feeling along that incision line!!!!!  She said taking off the top layer would allow it to scab over better and heal quicker.

I spent all of last week- seven days straight- sitting in my recliner with very little movement to help my wounds heal.  I nearly went crazy.  The doctor I saw yesterday said I can do a bit of walking (a few houses down to visit a friend), but just as long as the wounds keep healing and nothing gets worse.  And to keep an eye on any other swelling.

My batsuit is feeling a bit loose, so I just ordered two more a size down. I am hoping the increased pressure from them will continue to help decrease the swelling.

I emailed my surgeon back in the states and he said to keep milking the area where the leak is (keep pushing on the skin all around to get everything out).  The wound needs to be probed with a q-tip to keep it open for a while to make sure it keeps draining.  He said everything else is looking fine, even the giant wounds!

Nothing was done wrong.  I wasn't botched by a surgeon.  These were just pressure points and for some reason my body decided not to heal in those spots.  Just shitty luck, but no where to place any blame.

And now on to the photos!!

Did comparison shots to last week.  Not much to compare to other than the new wounds.


My front looks amazing!  Just a lot of swell between my belly button and the top of my pubic region.

Left inner thigh.  The red at the top used to be a huge hole, but it has built right up.  The other two spots were scraped down with a scalpel by the doctor and we hope they will finally start to heal.

Right inner thigh healing up beautifully!  The scars are becoming nice and flat already!  Still a a lot of leg swelling going on here.

Yep.  Left cheek still seems smaller!  ahahahh   But bum is starting to get a better shape as swelling decreases!

All looks good to me.

Swelling is very prominent in this photo in the upper pubic region.  I hope it really starts to go down soon!!  It is a squishy and gross.

Wee hole last week... giant hole this week!!  Okay, not so giant.  About 2" long by 1" wide and about 1" deep.  Nice pink tissue inside, so it will fill in over time.
This was the wee wound that the Doctor just touched with a q-tip and goo poured out!!  And now I just leak all the time.  I am rather disgusting.  I don't think anyone will be inviting me to sit on their sofa any time soon!

And the bum!!  It is filling in fast!!  I bet in another 4 weeks I just have a scar back here and this is all just a bad memory.