Bye Bye Baby Pt 3

Nearly 4 years ago to the day, I was living in Ulsan, South Korea. It seems like a lifetime ago now. While I was living there, I had the opportunity to go through surgery for an umbilical hernia repair. You can read all about part 1 and part 2.

It didn’t seem to work though. I’m not sure if my attempt at pilates screwed it up, or if the mesh was no good. There apparently were some ‘recalls’ for people who had hernia repairs with a mesh. Unfortunately mine was outside of the US so I wouldn’t know if that even applies to my situation.

ANYHOOOO! I’ve been back in the US for a year and was experiencing some stomach issues and my hernia was full-fledged back to party. I have a full-time job here with good insurance (For the first time in how long?) — so one of the first things I did was go to Surgical Group of Orlando. Dr. Chambers took a look, gave a nod, and we set a date.

So on July 24th (1 week shy of 4 years) I had my umbilical hernia repair. I had my entourage with me (parents and grandparents) and we waited for a solid 30 minutes before I was called back. Michelle was attending me and she was a blast. We made small talk and funny talk and went over all of the necessities that I now can no longer remember for follow-up care.

At one point, she was taking a look at my belly and gasped: my stomach was beet red. I wasn’t having a reaction to medication or had some sort of viral breakout. I was severely sunburned. I made this dumbass mistake of going to Siesta Key the weekend before my Tuesday surgery. I chose to NOT wear a 1 piece because TAN LINES! Hello!? Yup. The wind was strong that day. My SPF30 sport sunscreen was expired. And I was just not responsible. I got SO SO SO Sunburned that i had to take 3 black tea & apple cider vinegar baths. I lived in an aloe plant and rubbed super potent “CBD” salve on me. And I had no a/c in my car on the 3 hour drive back. Boohoo my poor choices.
So anyway, I almost wasn’t allowed to get the surgery, but luckily I hadn’t started to peel yet.

Back to the story:
Because my surgery wasn’t scheduled until 1pm, I was allowed to eat and drink up until 3:30am. Unfortunately I was asleep by 11:30pm the night before and barely woke up in time to drink a bottle of water before I couldn’t anymore. For anyone going into surgery where they say ‘Don’t eat or drink anything for 12 hours before the surgery’ — do your veins a favor: drink and eat up until the last minute. If you do what I did and have an easy Thai meal and hit the hay early, your vein may or may not collapse when they try to put in the IV. If you’re a punk like me and don’t do well with needles — this is a problem.

My vein collapsed and Michelle had to do it again. My wrist is now so bruised that I look like I was in a domestic issue (I can’t even wear my watch). Anyway, I spoke with the anesthesiologist and Dr. Chambers came in for a few minutes. Then I was wheeled back and moved onto a table. They put my oxygen mask on, I wished them good luck, and I was out. I do not remember my dream, but I did manage to not sit up this time.

To indicate to the nurses that I was awake, I made a joke about how the nurse they were making fun of for being short was ‘fun sized.’ Then my teeth started some serious chattering. And the pain started really hitting. I couldn’t swallow. I was not freaking out. The anesthesia was leaving my system and for some reason, this was how my body reacted. I wasn’t cold. I wasn’t scared. I was just in pain and my wonderful mom kept trying to give me water, but would take the damn straw away mid-sip and make a giant mess. But to be fair, she hasn’t had to feed a person in a while.

They gave me Vicodin and I proceeded to hate every second of it. My breathing was really shallow and I just felt like I was in this half-way state of sleep and frustration. I took it a couple of times that first day and haven’t looked back.

Repair:
Initially, Dr. Chambers was going to make the incision from my original scar with a possibility of using a mesh.. However, she changed her mind the day of (whether it was the sunburned scar or other reasons, I currently do not know). She decided to go through my belly button and sutured the hernia rather than using a mesh.

Recovery:
The act of sitting, standing, lying down, sitting up, twisting, coughing, or you know.. anything was pretty rough the first day or two. I’m stubborn though and did more movement than I probably should have. But also, 5 days after the surgery, I’m sitting on my couch cross legged without too much pain. Just soreness. And majorly itchy from this damned sunburn. I’m barely starting to peel, but if I can keep moisturized then maybe it won’t? Hopefully?

I was able to take a shower on day 2 — and it was painful. But on day 4 (yesterday), I was able to take a full shower with hair care and then go get a haircut. I don’t think I’ll be going to a movie or out for dinner and drinks just yet, but I feel better today than I have all week.

Week 1:
Rest. Rest. Rest. No lifting, bending, etc. Take it easy.

Week 2:
Rest, but I can go back to work. Follow up visit is scheduled for 1 week from the surgery. No lifting anything more than 10lbs.

Week 3:
Resuming light activities. Lifting maybe up to 20lbs? But more than likely 10lbs still.

Weeks 4-6:
Resuming normal activities, no heavy workouts still, but light activities are encouraged. No lifting more than 20lbs.

I’ll hopefully remember to write a follow up in a week or two.

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Oriental Medicine

Is it even politically correct to say that anymore? Eastern medicine. Korean medicine.. but it’s not just in Korea. Acupuncture is an Asia-thing.

My history: I have back problems, like an old man would have. But.. i’m barely 30. Many moons ago, I was sick from whatever cold or flu was plaguing me. I had just moved back from Hawai’i to Florida and was miserable. Plus always sick. My dad suggested I try acupuncture. He had a hippy-dippy friend who was about to graduate acupuncture school. I thought, “Sure. Why not?” And it hurt. I was miserable. I had one of my biggest fears sticking out of my body in plain sight. There was one point that the pressure built up so bad that I thought my knee would explode. I cried like I was dying. Needless to say (and yet we do anyway), not a good experience.

I have not condoned it and encourage everyone to try their own thing. I had not looked back once. However, since May 2016 (that’s nearly 4 months) I have been experiencing low back pain. It doesn’t radiate anywhere else. But I can’t bend forward, I can’t comfortably bend to the side. Standing, sitting, slouching, and even laying down is uncomfortable. AKA always in pain. Chiropractor isn’t helping. Massage was barely helping. Finally, I gave in and am currently seeing an acupuncturist.

Dr. Yoon (in Kyungridan/Noksapyeong) is really nice. He’s straight to the point. Today was my third session. I have had needles sticking out of me, electro-magnetic waves pulsing through me, and even cups suctioning the life out of me. When your friends say you barely feel it, they lie. It does not feel good. Maybe my trigger points are so bad that the struggle is real. Maybe it’s in my head. I don’t know. I don’t love it. But I’m trying to stick it out. Ha. Needles. Stick. Ouch, it hurts to laugh.

Today the Dr came in and said ‘Today we try venom of bee, okay? Small allergy test… and okay.” My back hurts. I’m exhausted. So far, so meh.
I’ll keep the world posted on my situation.

Mirena, 1+ year in

**Disclosure: FAMILY – THIS CONTAINS INFORMATION YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ>>> CLOSE THIS NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT T.M.I. ON MY PERSONAL LIFE!**

 

Last year, I made the decision to say, “Screw you!” to pills, Nuvaring (although I mostly loved it), and any other birth control method short of spaying myself.

I chose to drop a few $$ and insert Mirena. (You can read about the entry here).
It was a painful process. I spent nearly 40 days with spotting and dull cramps. Then one magical day… it stopped. The bleeding, the cramps, the discomfort, and then my life began.
I have been blessed with some good sex in my life. Apparently, this good sex was dulled by previous birth controls. Sex has never been so good. Like.. holy shit. Guys who were maybe average at best, were doing a pretty damn good job. Before Mirena, I was using mostly Nuvaring, occasionally a pill; and I was dull. Sex was just an act. If I got off, it was less often than Halley’s comet. But my sex drive didn’t exist. I seriously pondered my sexuality. Boyfriends and lovers knew I was lying and some thought I had been cheating on them.
Then Mirena happened.
.. as it turns out, I’m very straight. And I’m so much happier with Mirena. Sex. is. awesome. Like– wet, hot summer awesome.

Oh yea! And I lost a bunch of weight! When I had Mirena inserted, I was weighing in at ~73kg (about 160lbs). While I’m sure other factors were involved (leaving an unhappy job, moving up a hill, running to subways and buses for new jobs, etc), I am now at ~63 kg (138-140lb) today.

Menstrual cycles suck. Period. (hah. a favorite of mine) From 6th grade through recent years, my period has been a giant cluster-fuck. They were unpredictable. As Cher would say from Clueless “I was surfing the crimson wave!”… more like Crimson tidal wave. It was hell. I had special clothes to wear because I needed to change and clean them so often. My cramps had me in bed, crying like a child. Sometimes they would last longer than a week.. then reappear about 2 weeks later. Then other times they wouldn’t show for weeks (pregnancy scares what???). I got onto birth control and it helped a bit. But I still had shit strong periods.
Now a year after Mirena insertion, my periods are mostly non-existent. I might get ‘ghost cramps’ once a month and the occasional spotting every other month or less.

Overall, everything is awesome.
But let’s sum a few things up real quick:

Pros: 
1. 5 years of baby-free sexcapades
2. Little to no periods/minimal cramping
3. Higher sex drive
4. Weight lost (subjective)
5. Overall happier life.

Cons:
**denotes possible Pro rather than Con
1. 350,000won (KRW = USD ~275) ((((in the states they said it’d be ~600$USD without insurance)))**
2. PAINFUL AS FUCK DURING INSERTION!!!!! FFFUUUUCCCCCCCK.
3. Bodies may react differently
4. Gotta stock up on condoms for all that sex!**
5. I got nothin.. I can’t think of anything else.

Weight a minute…

I came to Korea 2 years ago. I weighed about 140-145lbs (66-68kg). Prior to that I lived in Thailand and weighed about 135-140lbs (61-63kg)..

In Thailand I had Asian markets and cheap food in small portions. I cooked my own food or ate out but I definitely did my share of eating.. But I was also riding my bicycle around town in the sticky humid heat of Surat Thani. I had a dress and skirt custom made during my last week in that country.

I went back to the U.S. in mid April 2013. During my summer months at home I didn’t do much.. I had Publix around the corner and a large kitchen with ample counter space. I was no longer eating small portions, special spices, or riding my bike everywhere. I hadn’t realized I had gained weight until my friend’s wedding in August when I tried to put on my custom made dress and it was.. Snug to say the least.

I figured I was going back to Asia and would lose weight. My friend Ben tried to warn me that many people gained weight in Korea. I laughed and ignored him.

I moved to Korea in August 2013 weighing about 145lbs / 66 kg.. Ish?

I was gaining weight. I knew this because my pants were getting tighter and tighter.

About a year after living in Ulsan (July 2014) I went to a surgeon about my hernia and he said I’d need to lose weight after the surgery. I weighed in at 72kg..which I quickly converted – and to my shock and dismay – to 158lbs. I had gained more than 10lbs in that year alone.

(Quick backstory: I graduated high school at 120-125lbs. Over the course of 8 years I had barely gained 10lbs) so you can imagine the horror I felt.

I had been working out. I hadn’t been eating a lot of rice. Where did this come from??

I stopped taking pictures of myself and untagging them from Facebook because they were gross. I was gross.

A friend told me to get off birth control and see what happened. I happened to be running out of my prescription anyway so I decided to try it.

In December of 2014, I moved to Seoul. I joined a gym immediately and did my best to go a few times a week at least. I teetered between 71kg-73kg (156-160lbs). I lived in a super tiny apartment with a 2 min walk to work. This only made matters worse. I hate winter and stayed inside my tiny apartment too much..which meant I was eating a lot. I was stressed and unhappy…which meant I was eating a lot.

In April 2015 I went to another surgeon about a ganglion cyst in my wrist. I weighed in at 75kg. I didn’t believe the scale. I was afraid to convert it. I couldn’t even admit the number out loud. I literally would choke. So here goes: 165lbs.

In my highest weight, I was at my lowest point. What. The. Fuck. Was. Happening????

I went to an OBgyn about birth control because obviously that shit wasn’t working and my worst nightmare is becoming pregnant. I wanted an IUD.

(I was supposed to get para guard back in 2011 but chickened out when I saw the tools).

In May 2015 I received Mirena. I was also losing my job and therefore that tiny apartment.

In June 2015 I was having stomach issues. I thought the intense pain was caused by gallbladder problems. Turns out I was extremely backed up. So backed up that the doctor wondered how I was still functioning. Oh.. And I had a mild form of colitis. I took the medications prescribed.

I moved into my new larger apartment on June 22nd 2015. It was on a hill (well, still is).

I had a new schedule that required me to take a subway to work and walk to and from subways. (I’m switching to present tense because it applies to now). I work all over Seoul. I live in HBC, work in Mokdong, and tutor in Gangnam. It’s all over the place.

Somehow though the weight started to dissipate. I went to a gym and was 69kg, which I quickly converted to 152lbs. What???????

Then my student had a scale and we weighed ourselves. I was 67.6kg.. Which I quickly converted to 149lbs. I was below 150!!!!! Holy shit.

I bought my own scale and today I weighed in at 65kg. It was my 1st goal weight. I grabbed clothes that I haven’t been able to fit into since I moved to Korea. And here is the before and after…

February 2015

September 2015

The next goal is 61.5kg (135kg). Let’s see what happens by 2016 😉

Resolutions 2015 Update: August Edition

It’s August 4th. The year is more than halfway completed. I have 5 months to make these resolutions happen. I am so pleased to update this post. There have been some seriously good improvements, and some others that still need improvement. But hey.. ce la vie right?

1. I want to lose weight.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

May UPDATE- – – I think I have lost some weight. The heaviest I was at was 75kg (about 165lbs). My average is about 73 kg (about 160lbs). The last time I weighed myself I was at 70.6kg (about 155lbs). When I wrote this, I was thinking of how much to lose, not really a goal weight. I’m changing it to goal weight now. I want to be no more than 140lbs (About 63.5 kg). I have a ways to go, but I will not allow myself to get back up to 165 again. The last time I weighed myself was on my birthday – – I will go find a scale today and see again.
AUGUST UPDATE – – – I HAVE DEFINITELY LOST WEIGHT!! I recently weighed in at 66.7kg (147lbs). I don’t know how I did it. I kind of want to give credit to Mirena, but I also now live on a hill and maybe that has helped a bit?

2. Get laid.
Resolution: get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.
May UPDATE – – – Yes. This is a much better year than last year. Numbers aren’t needed.
AUGUST UPDATE – – – 😉 😉 :* :* I should say mission accomplished, but far from over!

3. Travel
Resolution: Visit 2 new countries again! I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal is Malaysia.
May UPDATE – – – 1 down, 1 to go!! Malaysia was visited in February. I am going to Japan again this weekend with my mother, but it’s still early enough to visit another country!!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – I have visited Malaysia, Japan, and Jeju (and island in Korea). Still have another country to try and visit!

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)
May UPDATE – – it did happen! GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – Gary is coming to Seoul! for like.. a day ish. But still!!

5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.
May UPDATE — it’s not as easy. I had two medical procedures this year already that has cost me nearly $1,000 USD. I also missed a market (which makes me a few hundred extra) and haven’t done any massages. My side business is seriously lacking. Hopefully I can start massages again soon though and make that dough!! On the bright side, I found out I have 3kUSD already saved thanks to that pension plan!!
AUGUST UPDATE – – – Failing. After the whole medical procedures thing, I was let go from my job and have new employment. (Details about that in another post coming soon.) So ..yea… not really doing well on the savings resolution. I have been doing massages and voiceovers again, but they haven’t quite added up to a savings bundle. However, it seems that I am at least doing the other stuff right!

Resolutions 2015

IMG_2498

So I didn’t do too badon resolutions last year… some were definitely impractical, others were me just being lazy. However, I did learn a bit from my inability to complete all of my resolutions: make less resolutions!

I will repeat some resolutions from 2014 though…

1. I want to lose weight. Just like everyone else. Except this has to happen. I can’t handle looking at myself in photographs or on a scale. I have never weighed more than I do now and I don’t ever want to again. The number is so despicable to me that I can’t even say it aloud.

Resolution: Lose 15lbs.

2. Get laid. Seriously, I thought I was being practical last year with that whole ‘get laid 20 times’ thing.. such bullshit. However, I refuse to give way to this one. I will get laid at least 20 times – it counts even if it’s with the same person. No need being a slut about it. I’m 28, not 22.

3. Visit 2 new countries again! Last year I had hoped it would be Japan and Taiwan. Instead, it was Japan (twice) and Philippines. I would still like to visit Taiwan this year, my goal instead of Japan is Malaysia. Luckily I have a friend who lives in Kuala Lumpur who I have made many promises to visit….

4. VISIT GARY in KL!! (gary – this WILL happen)

5. Save 10K – something that is not as easy to do in the US. It’s pretty simple for people working in Korea. When my flight and housing are paid for, I get a pension, and hopefully make a few $ on the side by selling food and what not… this should be easy.

 

I originally drafted this and forgot the rest of the resolutions! Oops.. I guess we’re over 3 weeks into the new year anyway. Let’s get it started!

2014 Resolutions: The Final Review..

2014 is almost over. In my head I say, ‘Thank goodness.’ But it hasn’t been a bad year. It just wasn’t a great year. I made a resolutions list for the first time in my life and I think it’s time to do an honest review of how things went….

 

2 – The minimum amount of new countries I will visit (Taiwan and Japan)japan sushiborocaylips
—Goal Achieved, although I didn’t visit Taiwan. I made it to Japan (twice) and Philippines.

0 – My goal for a credit card statement.
— Goal (mostly) Achieved. I have enough to pay it all off and went to do that yesterday, when I noticed a charge of $577 from Hertz (when I had already paid $580 to Hotwire for the car rental). That charge is being disputed. So, stay tuned.

1 – attempt a 5KIMG_3137
— Goal Achieved. I ran my first (and maybe only) 5K in April in Gyeongju at the Cherry Blossom Festival. I did not run the entire thing, but I did a pretty good job of running most of it.

4 – days a week of working out… (unless I can make it more.)
— Goal Failed. 😦 I was doing well the first half of the year, then I had hernia surgery in August and haven’t been to the gym since. 😦

20 – have sex at least this much (it was a bad couple of years)IMG_1832
— MAJOR FAIL. LAME. 6/20 …. I can’t even begin to explain this one. But thankfully, I now live in Seoul and have a Tinder account 😉 Let’s see what happens..

14 – lbs to be lost by 2015
— MAJOR FAIL. STUPID. I have gained 20 lbs in 2 years. I am ashamed and disgusted. The hernia surgery did put a damper on that for a bit. But this year will be different. I am losing that shit.

201 – times I talk to my family
— Definitely accomplished. We talk on the regs.

2-14 – Run two miles in 14 minutes ((I’m a really bad runner))
— Definitely FAIL. I stopped running after the 5K. 🙂 I am not a runner. my boobs are too big.

2014 – smiles (hypothetically)
— I don’t know how this one went. I honestly feel that I may have failed on this one. I am so good at stoney face. Hopefully, more smiles will come in the future.

 

I accomplished 4.5 out of 9 resolutions (the half being the smiles). Look for the 2015 resolution list soon!

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