I know it's been a while since I've posted on my blog. There is a lot happening in my life right now and for those of you who know me best, you know I am an open book. I tend to have a big mouth without much of a filter (lol) and I generally tell it like it is whether anyone wants to hear it or not. That's just me : )
I wanted to finally share with you what's been going on and what is about to happen with me. So grab a cup of coffee and sit back if you are interested, this is going to be a long one.
I am going to be 40 this year. April 10th to be exact. There. I said it. I am going to be 40...yikes.
I had planned on taking my family on one of those once in a lifetime kind of fabulous trips for my birthday. One that I wasn't teaching or by myself on a long road trip. I was thinking a Mediteranean Cruise...Italy, greece or maybe the Caribbean. I don't know, but something great. I've since decided to put that off for a while for a better decision....
I am going to give myself a totally new, healthy ME for my birthday and focus on my own transformation.
Step one - I have quit smoking! OK, it's still very new and a daily struggle (with an occasional relapse) but I am doing it. It's a work in process and a daily choice for the greater good but it is time.
Step two - I am having surgery. Gastric Sleeve Surgery to be exact. This is a decision I have struggled with for years now. I had been thinking about Lapband for a long time. I know so many people who have had such great success with it, but the last time I seriously discussed it with a doctor, the problem was that I am fat but technically "healthy" according to the provious insurance rules. I had no co-morbitities such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc to qualify for the insurance coverage. So I stopped thinking about it for a while. For those of you who have been with me over the past year, you know my back is a mess. I have 2 herniated discs that have been getting worse and making my life a living hell...especially this past fall because I had such an insane travel schedule. The kicker for me was being at Oktoberfest in Munich last year. This has been on my bucket list of things I have always wanted to do. I was so excited to go and experience all of it. I saved my back as much as I could, but the walking I made myself do just killed me and I was sobbing by the end of the night because I was in so much pain. There was no way in hell I was going to miss that experience and I was thrilled to be there, but I realized during that trip that my back and aches and pains in my legs, knees, etc from gimping around have completely taken over my life. Seriously, EVERY single thing in my life revolves around my back and thoughts about how my back will hold up. It has become and ugly cycle now. My weight makes my back issues worse to the point that I am not moving. I've been told by doctors that if I am not careful the herniations will burst. So I don't move around as much and my weight gets worse, which in turn makes my back worse. Frankly, I'm sick of it and taking my life back. The only thing that is going to help my back is losing weight. A LOT of weight. Believe me, I have been chubby my entire life...and tried just about every diet out there. I think 40 years is long enough to say I gave it a good go and I've decided that surgery is the best option for me at this point.
It's funny how things happen, I started the holiday season not even thinking about surgery yet, but just that I was going to take those 2 months (dec-jan when I am always off) to take care of myself for a change and just start with a physical and appointments I never have time to schedule. i went for an eye exam to get new glasses and an updated prescription. While my eyes were dialated they discovered I had had a small retnal bleed. Nothing dangerous but she urged me to go back to my doctor to investiate because these things are almost always a sign of bigger things such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
So I went back to my doctor. Sure enough, the news of my eye had freaked me out enough that I had high blood pressure (which is weird for me because it's ALWAYS very low) I explained that I was only freaking out. I used to have bad panic attacks in my 20s after my dad passed away. Mostly medical things...every headache was a brain tumor and every other ache was a heart attack or stroke, lol. it's been a while but I think the eye thing stirred it up a little. Dr G. wasnt buying it and said something that made a lot of sense...if this is what my blood pressure does when I'm just a little freaked out or nervous what happens when I get REALLY mad or upset (actually he added, ''I know you have 2 little kids so you can't tell me you don't get really pissed sometimes!' LOL) He ordered a pile of more tests. Glucose was a little high and I have sleep apnea. So he talked to me about surgery again because now i am a definite candidate for approval with all of these new discoveries.
So fast forward through a lot more appointments, seminars, hours on the phone with the insurance company I have a surgery date of march 12th. It's less than a month away now and I am excited and scared to death all at the same time. This is going to be a HUGE life change for me but i am more than ready to finally be healthy and most importantly out of pain so I can enjoy my life.
I decided on the newer gastric sleeve surgery after a lot of research, seminars, talks with my surgeon and family and I think this is the best option for me. I knew I didnt want gastric bypass because I knew too many people who had horror stories of the side effects. I like the idea of the Lapband and love the feedback I'd gotten from everyone I've come across that have had it. My mind was set on it actually until my surgeon recommended the sleeve as the latest and better option for me...particularly with my travel schedule. The lapband requires a lot of maintenance and follow up and because it's basically a piece of hardware in my body, of course there could be malfunctions (although rare). Where in the world would I possibly be when and if it slipped or needed to be filled or adjusted? That was definitely a concern. The Sleeve has basically no follow up aside from making sure my vitamin levels are good and normal surgery follow ups and it's permenant.
SO...here I go!! I have put on my big girl panties and made the decision that I am not going to feel better until I focus on doing something about it. March 12th is the big day, a few days in Hackensack Medical center and then I have 6-8 weeks recovery time where I will not be able to travel really...on the 9th-10th week I will be on a plane to teach in England!! (more to come on that soon)
I have been getting a lot of e-mails and questions about booking classes and people wondering why my 2012 schedule is not updated yet...this is why. I am taking 6 months off to take care of me. I have a big list of stores waiting for class dates and I will start scheduling Summer and Fall classes shortly. In the meantime, I am just about to launch some on-line classes (so I can pay for all of these co-pays, LOL!). I'm totally revamping my blog/website. You can now also get here by typing in www.jenstarrstudio.com as well as the previous typepad address. Even more exciting things happening in regards to teaching...I got to design 12 glimmer mist colors for tattered Angels and I will also be adding several more companies that I work with!
My life is crazy right now but all good things are happening!!! I'll be keeping you updated along the way.