The devil and daylight savings.

untitledson has been a savage since Monday. We set our clocks ahead on Sunday, but he’s now on mountain time — which is fitting, given how rocky things have been ever since. The little cuss won’t fall asleep until 9 or 10 p.m., no matter when we lay him down. He sits in his bed in the dark, rolling his little cars over the hills and valleys of his bedding. He pages through his books. He recites satanic incantations (a.k.a dialogue from “Air Buds”).

One night, he came sauntering down the stairs in time to watch the opening minute of “Rome” with us, featuring some old school doggy-style action. “Where’s the clicker! WHERE’S THE CLICKER!” By the time we found it and changed the channel, Atia and Mark Antony were eating nachos and watching Conan.

We check on him when we go to bed, and he’s laying there in the middle of all this crap. The blankets are a twisted mess, and he looks like he spent one to many nights playing Stratego before crashing amongst the empty bags of Doritos and crushed Red Bull cans. By 5 a.m., he is recharged. That’s when he drags all of his booty into our bed for a pre-dawn party. I have woken up more than once with a Hot Wheel stuck to my torso. And let me tell you — it feels magnificent.

At the very least, he wants his cereal and milk. “Here’s your Kix, here’s your banana, here’s your milk. Now eat, watch the Wiggles and don’t return to our room until the sun is up. Unless you see flames or hear an explosion. Then, and only then, can you come get us.”

As bad as we have it, his Montessori teachers have it worse. He’s been spitting at them, screaming, crying and being an overall pain in the ass. His teacher called me Friday at 10 a.m. and said I needed to bring him home, for he was posing a threat to Homeland Security (or something like that). Even the naughtiest boy in class (his best friend, unfortunately) told him to settle the fuck down lest he get an ass-whoopin’ from the looming mob of four year-olds who were sick of his shenanigans (again, I paraphrase).

So I left work early and hauled the poor thing home. A pariah in his own classroom, he skulked to the car and rode the whole way hunched over like Margaret Thatcher in the St. Patty’s parade. Once home, he slept for three hours, and woke up a sweaty mess. It’s as if his demonic fluids has escaped from his scalp. He woke up looking like that mugshot of Nick Nolte after his weekend bender. He’d also wet himself (a rarity) — which was further proof that the evil would take any path necessary to escape. If this continues, there is no way he’s staying up late to watch the “Real Sex” with us.

Down 3 and feeling foxy.

I had my one-month checkup at my surgeon’s office yesterday, and all went well. I’m down three more pounds since last Friday. Since surgery (2/12) I have lost 23 pounds. I was told that 23 pounds in one month is an average amount (some lose more, some lose less). I am doing everything I’m supposed to, so this is clincial proof that your body will lose what it wants to lose. I am simply along for the ride.

Physically, I’m feeling great. Those first few weeks on liquids are mentally challenging, drinking 2 ounces of broth by my myself as my family sits down for a meal, but as soon as you start eating soft foods, it’s so much better. You feel very close to normal again.

Last night, untitledhusband and I went out for Chinese. I has 4 California rolls of sushi and a smidge (maybe 1/4 cup) of sizzling rice soup. I almost blew a gut. But it was so good. It’s odd how I no longer crave cookies and chocolate. I crave sushi, tuna, turkey and things like that.

untitledhusband tells me I’m looking thinner. I’ll be walking up the stairs in front of him, and he’ll say “you really are getting smaller!” I’ll never tire of hearing that.

No one at work has noticed (or, they haven’t commented). That’s fine with me. I don’t look forward to the daily scrutinization, but I’m sure it will come eventually.

Even though I am supposed to still be on pureeds, I have carefully introduced a few soft foods into my diet, including melba toast (soft when chewed), cereal, scrambled Egg Beaters, peanut butter (sparingly), sushi and low-fat string cheese. I chew very, very well (applesauce texture), and nothing has made me sick yet. I never eat more than 4 ounces for a meal, and I’m completely satisfied.

What a gift, I’m telling you. I can’t say enough about this surgery. Already, stairs are easier. Physically, I am more nimble (as nimble as one can be at 320 pounds). My tummy no longer touches the steering wheel. Turning over in bed is easier. And I’m just happier, in general. I have so much to look forward to, and every day is a little bit sunnier. I vascillate between wanting to tell the world (especially other big people) about this fantastic surgery, and wanting to maintain my privacy. I’ve decided that if someone big asks me, I will be honest. The skinny ones will be deceived, because they are skinny and they need a little harship in their lives.

If you don’t see an updated photo with this post, check back. I’m going to have untitledhusband take my picture tonight. Perhaps you’ll see a difference.

untitledhusband and his fabulous fornicating $700 eyeglasses.

untitledhusband has been due for new glasses for some time now. He doesn’t wear them all that often, but when he does, he’d rather not be sporting a pair of bug goggles with gold butterfly decals on the lens. He wanted to try a new place this time, something a bit less pedestrian than where we have gone in the past. So he found this cute little eyeglass boutique and low and behold, found just what he was looking for in about five minutes.”So what do they look like? What brand are they?” I asked, thinking they’d be Nike or Ralph Lauren or something, cause that’s usually how we roll. “They are ‘Lindberg‘ frames,” he said. Bless his heart, I thought. He’s eschewing the bawdy brand names for the sake of value! What a thrifty dude. This should make up for the $2,000 TV he bought a few weeks ago while under an electronics-fueled Best Buy fog. I would really rather not see Antonella Barba’s areolas in high-def, thank you very much (or hear her sing “Put Your Records On” in 7.1 surround sound, either). There now. I just outed myself as an “Amerian Idol” viewer, and you best think less of me.

“So, what’s the damage?” I asked, thinking it would be around $300-$400.

“$700.”

“Whah?”

“Is that too much?”

“For marriage counseling, no.” I replied. “Jesus H! Are the frames dipped in platinum or what? Is Charles Lindberg sitting on an island in the South Pacific, whittling these frames out of the twisted remains of his airplane wreckage?”

“Well, uhhh…”

“I mean, how does one even FIND $700 eyeglasses, let alone buy them?”

“Ummm, they’re really cool.”

“Well great then. You only wear glasses when you are reading your trashy magazines in the tub or hunkered over your Saturday morning cereal. For $700, these glasses better do more than help you see. They need to fix the kitchen disposal when untitledson drops popcorn kernels into it. And I should hope that they are capable of clearing away all Hot Wheels vehicles from the stairs before I come trotting down with a basketful of laundry. And hand jobs — they best give hand jobs. Can these magical $700 eyeglasses do all that?”

“Why yes, they can.”

“Well then, I stand corrected. Good purchase.”

Crunchy, crispity melba toast (and oh, I lost two more pounds).

The scale has finally started moving. Yesterday, I dropped two pounds (now down to 323). That makes for a 20-pound loss since I had surgery on 2/12, and a 43-pound loss since I started my pre-surgery diet. I lost 18 of my post-surgery pounds in the first two weeks. Then the plateau hit and lasted, gasp, 12 days. That’s 12 days of eating 500 calories or less a day, and exercising 30-45 minutes a day. I’m no physiologist, but that’s bullshit (and further proof that my body wants nothing more than for me to remain a fat fuck).I went to my surgery support group last night and asked my surgeon about this plateau. He rambled on about ramping up my exercise or watching my calorie intake. What??? Christ, even if I was going hog wild and consuming 800 calories a day (which seriously, would be physically impossible at this point), I should still be losing more than 2 pounds in 12 days.

After the meeting, another girl who is one year out said to me, “When you asked that question, the doctor should’ve told you that plateaus are normal, you aren’t doing anything wrong, and all you can do is wait it out.” From what others said, it seems this is the case. Even my surgeon could not explain what physiologically happens during a plateau, where one can be at a standstill for 12 days when consuming 500 calories a day. So we’ll just chalk it up to one of life’s great mysteries and leave it at that.

There were some other people at the support group meeting who were considering surgery. This one guy who was in his twenties was in obvious turmoil, asking questions like “I love food — won’t I miss food?” and “I’m from New Orleans, and my whole family life centers around food.” Since I’m only three weeks out, I didn’t feel qualified to dole out advice. But I felt like telling him, “Son, you will not give two shits about jambalaya or crawdads after you have this surgery.” I don’t know why this happens — the food you used to obsess over is all of a sudden a non-issue, as appealing as dog food. There are moments when I’m like “mmm, that hamburger smells good.” But the thought goes away as quickly as it comes. There’s no more obsession. Poof – it’s gone. Food just doesn’t seem all that important anymore.

So what exactly am I eating each day, now that I am three weeks out? Here’s a sample day for you:

BREAKFAST: 8 oz fat free sugar free Blue Bunny smoothie (plus 1/3 powdered milk, for protein)

SNACK: 4 oz fat free sugar free pudding or yogurt

LUNCH: 3 oz tuna salad with three pieces of melba toast (each piece is a bit smaller than a playing card)

SNACK: sugar free popsicle, 8 oz fat free sugar free Blue Bunny smoothie (again, fortified with powedered milk)

DINNER: 4 oz fat free refried beans with a few melted cheese sprinkles on top

Now you can see why I was so utterly offended when my surgeon suggested cutting more calories. I am lucky if I get in 500 calories a day, and they want you consuming 500-650 per day. Technically, I am not supposed to have melba toast yet. I started it earlier this week, and it has helped immensely with my state of mind. I chew it thoroughly, it doesn’t make me sick and fits well within my calorie limit. So whatever. A lot of this is trial and error, seeing what you can eat (as long as it is healthy).

Eating this amount, I am pretty much full all the time. The tuna salad and melba toast for lunch makes me plumb full. When I see the amount that others can eat, it just amazes me now. Now, if I can only find chewable calcium pills that don’t taste like ass, I’ll be doing just great.

Q-Tips and cravings.

The first two weeks after my surgery, I lost 18 pounds. This third week, I have not lost a single pound. Talk about frustrating. I mean, how can one NOT lose weight when consuming 500 calories or less a day and working out? It’s crazy. Everything I read says this is a common plateau, but this makes it no less frustrating — especially when I go on to the bulletin boards and read about 50 year-old women who had the surgery same day as me and have lost twice as much as I have. You all have plateaus. I have Devil’s Tower. I know you old bitches aren’t working on your fidness, so what gives? I have no choice but to wait it out.

Eating-wise, my doc has me on a full liquid diet (cream soups, sugar free Jello, milk, sugar free yogurt) right now. Three ounces at a time (which is like half a container of yogurt). It does fill me up, shockingly enough. I will be on it for another week, and then I move on to (drum roll) pureeds! Oh, blessed pureeds. I have missed my hand blender (or as untitledhusband calls it, my kitchen dildo). This is the same diet I was on three weeks before surgery, and I bitched the entire time. I’m not going to lie — I really miss food with texture. I miss chewing. Everything I read says the first month or two is a bitch, and they are right. Physically, you don’t get hungry. But mentally, I still want to eat what everyone else can eat. One thing that has changed are my cravings. I crave Subway, not chocolate chip cookies (or any sweets, for that matter). I’m not sure why this is, but hey, I’ll take it. Sweets have always been my downfall.

Here’s one thing they don’t tell you — after they remove your JP drain (about 10 days after surgery), you are left with a hole in your stomach about the diameter of a pencil. And here’s the clincher — they don’t stitch it up. They make you dress it twice a day, which involves sticking a Q-Tip in there, removing the debris and packing the empty space with gauze (so it doesn’t abcess). I shall never recover from sticking Q-Tips into myself and seeing them completely disappear. Thankfully, this hole heals up in one week. Now it’s just a scab. Personally, I think the nurses get off on making patients stick stuff into their bodies.

Being the lucky fuck that I am, I have another hole where one of my incisions became infected. I had no idea it was infected — it looked like any other scab. At my 10-day checkup, they opened up the incision, removed the infected debris and left it open. It wasn’t as painful as it sounds. When they were done, the hole was about two inches deep and the size of a quarter. Fucking christ, people. Couldn’t you have just let it be? I am not a smoker, but I have this urge to stick a cigarette in that hole and see if I can take a puff through it.

In addition to all of this, I have discovered that my belly and adhesives do not get along. This whole time, I’d have red marks after removing the tape. But the other night when was removing my hole dressings, large patches of skin came off with the tape. Holy fucking painful. There are no words. I walked around all night tenting my pajamas away from my skin. The air hurt, anything rubbing hurt. Thank god it has now scabbed over a bit. Bloody hell.

So yeah, there have been a few tiny setbacks and inconveniences. But all in all, I’d still do this all over again. The first few weeks have been a little rough, missing food and all. Sugar-free popsicles go a long, long way in this department. I can’t say enough about my beloved cracksicles. We had a blizzard here, along with a 15-hour power outage. My popsicles were the main casualty. I made untitledhusband hitch up the horses and take my ass to Wal-Mart so I could buy more, blizzard and all. Hell hath no fury like a post-op without her sugar-free popsicles.

The amount of milk (24 ounces) I have to drink each day to get in my protein in unbearable, but I do it. I am so sick of milk. I will be so happy when I can eat solids again and get my protein the old-fashioned way. But it’s amazing, having this control over what goes into your mouth. The hunger is just not there, and the cravings are much less than they used to be. For anyone out there considering this surgery, know that it’s not nearly as physically painful as you’d think. It really isn’t. They show you these diagrams, how they staple this and re-route that. But honestly, from the outside, it feels fine. There is nothing to be scared about. Now if I could just get untitledhusband to look at my belly hole, my life would be complete. Look at my insides. Love my hole. This is your only chance before it heals up!