Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Practicing mindfulness, fitness test and a new spot

I'm not doing great on posting more often.  I need to work on that because it is always so therapeutic when I do writing.  Since last I posted, I have been practicing mindfulness meditations as I mentioned in my last post.  It's amazing how peaceful and in tune with myself I have become just in this short time doing it (mostly) every day.  The guided meditations really help my mind stay focused.  For those that have Kaiser and want to take the workshop, you just need to participate in an intake appointment through the psychiatry department and then you can request the mindfulness group.  I am going through the list of online guided meditations and posting them on the resources page of my blog as I find some that are worthwhile.  I have found some really fantastic ones.  If you'd like to check them out for yourself, click here to go directly to the page with the list.  I love the "Self-Compassion" ones so far.  The speaker has a soothing, kind voice and I feel so relaxed when I am participating in the exercise.  Feeling peaceful with less anxiety is so amazing and, remarkably, doesn't take that long at all.  I even recorded some meditations in my own voice, following a script we were given in class, on my iPhone using the voice memo feature.  When it's time to meditate, I simply use my earplugs, sit in my meditation spot and within seconds, I'm feeling a lot of peace.  I thought it would be hard for me to meditate using some of the practices because I am not Buddhist, but I have found it works for any religion.  I don't need to lose my Christian roots and beliefs to enjoy the practice.  In fact, if anything, it enhances my spiritual center.

On Thursday, I completed my fitness test.  This was the next step in the process leading towards bariatric surgery.  Given that I normally walk much further on a regular basis than was required in the fitness test, I found it to be probably the easiest part of this journey.  It took about 5-7 minutes, that's all.  So now I am waiting for Positive Choice nurses to put orders in for lab work.  In talking to fellow classmates, they will be running 17 different tests so I'm sure they'll be taking plenty of samples from me.  Almost everyone in my pre-op classes are moving forward with surgery, so it's been great to see them posting their status in our Facebook group as they complete their next tact.

I had a routine diabetic follow-up appointment with my primary care doctor this morning.  She is incredibly supportive of my journey towards surgery and told me she was proud of me for not only making this decision but also hanging in there through the classes I was required to take.  She agrees that the gastric bypass (versus the sleeve) is the better choice for me for long-term success, even if I didn't have diabetes.  I was glancing at the computer screen while she was doing some typing and it has me classified as super morbidly obese.  If I ever forget my bottom line, I must remember that because the decision to move forward with surgery has been completely about quality of life.  Of course I can't wait to wear cute clothes, but my health is the most important.  I did tell her I have a little concern about the malabsportion issues and she shared some interesting info about that in terms of complications.  She's been a doctor with Kaiser for over 25 years and she said that ever since they started doing the bypass laprascopically, they have less incidents of complications and dumping.  She has found that curious because they haven't changed anything with the surgery internally, but doing it that way versus an open surgery has produced better results in terms of fewer complications.  While I was in with her, we were looking at my blood sugar numbers and she did a foot exam.  The foot exam is something all diabetics should do to make sure they don't have cuts on their feet that they're not feeling.  As she was looking at my feet, she asked me how long I've had the mole on my left big toe.  My response to her was, "Are you sure it's not just nail polish?"  I had just painted my toes dark blue the other day so I thought maybe I somehow got some there (it's under my toe near the top, so it's hard to see).  She looked at it closely and she confirmed that it was, in fact, a mole.  I did have a body scan when I went to see my dermatologist a few weeks ago, but we didn't check my feet if I remember correctly.  When I came home today, I checked it more closely and it definitely is a mole.  My doctor is very concerned.  She's the one that spotted my first mole that turned into melanoma three years ago so, of course, that concerned me, too.  She has sent a message over to my dermatologist's office so that we can book an appointment.  I feel biopsy number eight coming on.  I'd rather be safe than sorry, so I will definitely do whatever I need.

I see now why the mindfulness meditations are more timely than ever before.  Finding peace in the middle of anxiety, whether it be about the surgery or the biopsy, is incredibly important for me.  Practice mindfulness folks, it really does make a difference.  Maybe it won't change the outcome of situations, but it does change how I choose to deal with it.


happyinca said...

Awesome post, Kathy! Thank you so much for sharing the mindfulness resources. I'm looking forward to giving them a try. I'm sorry that you have one more health concern to deal with. It sounds like you have a smart, supportive physician. You will get through all of it, the challenges and the positive changes. I'm rooting for you and sending good, healing thoughts.

Kathy said...

Thank you for the positive comments, Christy! You're always so supportive ;-)

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