Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: A Wife's Perspective - Part 5: The Swallow Test

Every Wednesday, I am going to write about the process of Eric going through weight loss surgery to record my feelings and perspective as the wife on the sidelines.  As this is an extremely personal decision on Eric's part to change his life, I am trying my best to stay true to my feelings, while at the same time accurately recording the events.

You can read the posts in this series here: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
The next step in this process was for Eric to get a swallow test done.  I wasn't with him for this particular procedure, and I am so glad that I wasn't!  I know, I know...that doesn't sound like a very supportive wife!
There is no way to sugar coat it; this procedure seems truly awful!  Eric was glad he didn't really know what it entailed until he was in the middle of it.  I'd have been stressed out beyond belief if I knew what was going to happen.  I don't know that I could do this test.
So what happened?
Eric was taken back in a room and the nurses had him lie back and they put lidocaine up his nose and let it go down his throat to numb his entire sinus/throat area.  It sounded like when I'm at the dentist for a cavity fill and they give you the numbing shot and then wait a while for it to really numb it all up nice and good!
After that came the tricky part!  They had Eric sit up and then inserted a catheter through his nostril and down his throat!  Oh my heavens!  I would have died.  Probably not, but I tend to be dramatic, and that sounds about as unpleasant as anything I can imagine.
They were testing a sphincter muscle that stops food from coming up out of the stomach.  After having surgery to make the stomach so much smaller, there tends to be more pressure in the digestive area.  The doctors needed to make sure that the muscle is strong enough or in working order to be able to handle that added stress.  They don't want food going back up into the esophagus.  Painful.
Eric said it was rather unpleasant as he was gagging as the tube was being inserted.  He said it wasn't painful, per se, but it was definitely uncomfortable.  It made his eyes well up.  The nurse told him it was okay...they make everyone cry!  I don't know that I'd want a job where I make everyone cry!
After the tube was in place, they had Eric do a series of tests. One test was where they shot saline into his mouth and he had to swallow or not swallow.  He also did this test without the saline, but just swallowing in general.  Again, so unpleasant.
Once they were done, they had to pull the catheter back out through his nostril.  Again, gagging.
When Eric and I talked about the procedure later that night, he said as awful as it was, he'd do it all over again to get to the surgery that is going to change his life.  He is so focused!
The only side effect he had was a slightly painful throat at the end of the day.
His test came back fine.  Strong esophageal sphincter muscle!
One more step completed.  Next week I'll talk about the endoscopy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Half Day

Every first Monday of the month our school has a half day so that teachers have an opportunity for a staff meeting and staff development.  A few weeks ago I promised the kids that I would take them out to lunch on the next half day.

 I had to speak to a few parents after school, so the kids waited for me in my classroom and played games on the computer.

I was hoping to go somewhere tasty. They chose Subway.  Seriously?  Subway?  I could have gone for pizza, Chipotle, Deli Delicious or anywhere but Subway.  But on a positive was close and fairly cheap.  And the kids were happy.

 Ham and bread for the small one.  Hot pastrami for the big one.

It was fun taking them out to lunch.  It was also funny because both of their teachers showed up at the same place for lunch!  You can just see the edge of Sister Monica's blue habit on the right side of the photo above.

After lunch Evan wasn't feeling that great, so I put him on the couch in the sick room at school to rest while I went to my staff meeting.  A few hours later and we were home.  A quick trip to the grocery store, dinner, and homework rounded out the evening.  Soccer practice was canceled again because of a downpour earlier in the day.

And we had THIS for dinner.  Cheeseburger meatballs were pretty tasty, and Eric really seemed to like them which makes me ridiculously happy!  I really like it when I cook and my family likes what I make!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up - The End of February/Beginning of March

The weekend started off with a blessedly quiet Friday night.  We ate a fish stick and tater tot dinner and went to bed!

The first part of Saturday morning was relaxing before we headed off to soccer.  Small dogs got to lounge by a fire!

Evan's usual seat in the car has been filled with my stuff, so he sits in the very back.  I laughed when I looked back on the way to soccer to see him spread across the full back seat.

Hudson's soccer team had a mini play date in Lemoore.

Hudson plays defense just like his brother.

I was chuckling through much of the game because he picked shorts to wear that are a bit too short!  We all knew he was wearing green underwear!

When did he get so big?

And so sure of himself?

I laughed when Coach Luis told Hudson that he needed his strong leg to make the corner kick!

The rain fell off and on making the skies very pretty.

We had a late lunch at KFC.

Since we were so close to Hanford, we were planning to eat lunch at Superior Dairy and enjoy ice cream after.  However, when we pulled up, it looked super crowded. I suggested eating somewhere else and going back later for ice cream.

That plan didn't work out either because when we drove back by for ice cream after lunch, there was an entire baseball team spilling out the door waiting for ice cream!

So we drove to Kingsburg to visit the ice cream shop owned by my friend Julie, Babycakes.  It was a bummer that she wasn't working, but the ice cream was good!

Strawberry sundae for mom.

Small man was tired.  They played the two games short a man, so no one got a break.  They ran up and down that field.  He definitely got his exercise for the day!

Julie's little shop in the background is so cute!


Big kid got a taste of what his brother goes through having to sit through soccer games.

Kingsburg was settled by Swedish people and the whole downtown looks like a Swedish village, complete with these funny horse things on the street.  It's a really cute town.

We slept in on Sunday morning, but once we were up and had breakfast, we got busy with the our planned garage/shed/backyard spring cleaning.

We have been planning to do this for a while for a couple of reasons: it needed it, Hudson's 1st Communion party will be held here in April and we want the yard to look nice, and the community cleanup day where the city hauls off all your junk is in nine days.

It seems like we always somehow miss the cleanup days, but we were smart and planned our time this year!  Nothing like a party to get us to clean!

We have a backyard shed that stores all the Christmas decorations, a few bikes and a few tools.  The garage had a bunch of rickety shelving that was storing tons of junk.  Eric's plan was to remove the sturdy, nice shelves from the shed and put them in the garage.  He wanted to get rid of the rickety shelves.

The first thing we did was pull everything off the rickety shelves and place it in the garage or start a huge trash pile for the city pick up.

How in the world we stored so much stuff on those shelves is beyond me!  And that's not all of it because stuff we knew that was automatically trash got tossed to the curb.

 Evan worked his little butt off with us today.

This is only the beginning of the pile.  I swear we aren't hoarders!  We have always been able to park both cars in the garage, but those shelves magically held so much stuff.  You could put something on the shelf and just forget about it.

We pulled the nice shelves out of the shed and put them in the garage.  We whittled down all the crap and only put back what we use and need.

I put all the Christmas stuff back in the shed, and there is actually more space without the shelves.  I can easily get to all the boxes without having to move tons of stuff.  Yay!

 I love a good after shot!

 Eric is still going to go through his tool area and clean it up a bit more.  We were pretty tired by this point.

 Only three sturdy shelves instead of five creaky ones.  Only stuff put back that is used.  We even have a bit of empty shelf space.  It's okay not to fill all of it!

 Oh how I love it clean!

 Eric moved the bikes from the back wall to the side wall to maximize space.  We might also be getting a refrigerator so we needed to clear a bit of space from the back wall in preparation for that.

 Oh the pile is embarrassing!  And this was after a few people had already come by to pick through the stuff.

One cool thing is that Eric sold the five rickety shelves and a few other things on Craig's List.  It's always nice to make a few bucks!

Now we are tired!  I do like having a productive weekend.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Daily 4C - Week 9

The week started with the championship game for State Cup.  Then it was back to regular stuff: namely soccer practice!

Day 53 - Pumas took 2nd place in the State Cup Championship game.  It was a nail biter that went into overtime and then into penalty kicks.  Unfortunately, we lost on PK's, but the boys played with such heart and spirit.  It was a great game!

Day 54 - We were supposed to be at two different soccer practices tonight, but then a big rainstorm hit today and canceled all the practices!  My heart was NOT broken!  I needed a night at home.  If Eric is anywhere near the couch, Harry can surely be found close by...usually up by Eric's neck!

 Day 55 - Eric and Evan went on a field trip to the San Jose Tech Museum.  Eric always goes on the "big" field trips.  Hudson and I enjoyed our time together at home.

 Day 56 - Back to soccer practice.  That light in the distance isn't the sun.  It's one of the lights we turn on to be able to see!  However, with the sun setting later and later, it has made for some really pretty skies.

 Day 57 - Oh look!  We are back at soccer practice...again!  Story of our life.

Day 58 - Lent equals fish sticks and tater tots.  It makes for a super easy meal at least once or twice throughout the season.

Day 59 - Hudson's team had a mini play date in Lemoore on Saturday.  They won the first game and lost the second.  I laughed when the coach yelled, "Hudson, I need your leg!  Take the corner kick!"  He does have a strong kick!

Hard to believe we are about to start week 10 of the year.  Hard to believe we are about to be in March.  Time sure does fly.