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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass pre-op

Tomorrow I take the next step in my journey. I was hoping to have a gastric sleeve but I knew based on my research that the roux-en-Y was best option, so it wasn’t hard for the surgeon to convince me of that. I will be doing my psych evaluation and meeting with the nutritionist. I am eager to be compliant. I haven’t had a soda in a week. It would have been longer but I had a few sips of Sprite because I was nauseated.
I had someone who doesn’t know my health situation tell me that all I need is to join a gym. Hello, the best thing is water aerobics because of my joints and back, but that is out right now because the hidradenitis is flaring. And that is just nasty to get in a pool that other people have to get it when you open wounds – for both me and them. I hate it when people take this attitude, BUT if you haven’t been where I've been, don’t tell me where to go or how to get there, especially if you aren’t willing to take the time to educate yourself about my situation.
I digress. I just hate it when people think they know what you have or haven’t done or tried or what you are going through. I’m excited about tomorrow. I will post what I learn just in case someone is curious.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

When going somewhere meant something

I came across an old picture online of a women dressed in a suit buying a movie ticket at the box office window. It got me to thinking about how times have changed. We no longer see going to the movies or taking the Greyhound or riding on an airplane as something you get dressed up for.

I remember when my mother and I were shopping and packing for me to go off to college. She and I would argue about what was appropriate for me to wear on campus. This even included my PJs. My mother thought that I was supposed to dress more conservatively and wear real nightgowns (the ones that go down to your ankles) at the dorm. I was ok with sleeping night shirt or shorts and T-shirts.

Now before you laugh, you have to realize that my mom went to Grambling University in the 1960s. Women wore dresses and pantyhose. Your clothes were ironed. You came to class looking like you took your education seriously. And that is because you did. You knew that those attending an HBCU at that time were among the privileged few.

I am sure the educators out wish that there students came to class looking like they took their educations seriously and more importantly, that they realized how lucky they are to be getting an education.

By the way, my mom and I came to a compromise. But still, it turned that I was often overdress for The University of Texas at Austin because some of the students looked worse than hobos.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Hyperpigmentation and Acanthosis Nigricans

When I was a teenager, the skin on my neck began to darken. My mother accused me of not doing a good job cleaning my neck. I would insist that I was washing my neck. I would stand in front of the mirror with a soapy washcloth and scrub my neck until it turned red. It didn’t do any good.

What I didn’t know and what my mother didn’t know was that I had acanthosis nigricans as a result of the polycystic ovary syndrome with insulin resistance. I didn't know I had PCOS either. Acanthosis is commonly seen in people who are insulin impaired and/or diabetic (type II).

I started showing the signs of PCOS in my teen years. I started to gain weight, had horrible periods, starting getting hairs on my chin and my skin was changing. I was getting these dark, velvety, thick patches on my neck (ring around the neck, LOL), underarms, between my thighs and under my breasts. On top of all of that, I had acne, so I was not a happy camper.

Over the years, the dark patches have darkened and spread. Now it is on my cheeks, the corners of my mouth, my ears (around the earring holes). Thank goodness the acne is gone, but now it has been replaced by seborrheic dermatitis. Oh joy.
Needless to say, I don’t like leaving the house without makeup. Not that I am vain, I just don’t have the luxury of having good skin. Fade creams are a waste of money. According to my dermatologist and my research, only weight loss will lighten it. Well that should be easy to take care of. Yeah, right.

I have included a few photos below. The first one shows the scales on my earlobe from the seborrheic dermatitis and some dark patches. The second one shows my cheek and the corner of my mouth -- and a little facial hair. Time to schedule another laser hair removal appointment. Let me check my wallet!