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April - May 2002
Jamie's Journey
Me and My Family 2006
About Me
Pre Op Journal
Surgery Journal
Post Op Journal Entries
Before and After Pics
September Beach Pictures
LA Trip
Family Photo Album
Other Pictures
Shiloh's Picture Page
Favorite Links
My Surgeon's Info
Contact Me

April 1, 2002
Happy April Fool's Day!!  Today mom and I went to the salon and she got her hair cut and I got highlights!  I wil put a picture up as soon as I take one.  After the salon we went to Olive Garden for lunch.  I had chicken parmesan, it was yummy.  I have had a problem lately where I will feel like I need to burp to get rid of some gas after eating, but when I can't I throw up my food.  I know it's kind of gross to talk about, but I don't really understand why it's happening.  Oh well, I guess I will get over it. 
Tonight I watched the TV show The Bachelor.  I have never seen it before and I think it's like Who wants to Marry a Multimillionaire all over again.  I predict disaster.  I will keep watching, but I feel bad for the girls because they are just setting themselves up for heartache.  Is this guy rich or did they just pick him up off the street?  The world may never know...

April 2, 2002
Today was a bittersweet day for my family.  We went to Ocala to attend my great-grandmother's funeral.  She was really sick for a while and has had Alsheimers for about 4 years.  It was a blessing for her because she really had no quality of life anymore.  On the upside of the trip I was able to see my aunts and cousin that I haven't seen since last Easter.  They haven't seen me since surgery so they were very happy at my progress.  It was neat to see them after so long. 
I need a job....more info later...

April 6, 2002
Today was a great day!!  My friends Danny and Angie got married!!  It has been a long time coming for them and I am glad that they made it!!  Angie looked so beautiful and Danny, well Danny is just Danny!  At the reception the food was sooo tasty!  They are from a Spanish background and Angie's mom made all the food and it was delicious!!  I did cheat a little from the protien only diet that I am supposed to still be on, but it was worth it, and I only cheated a little.  Oh yeah, as of Thursday I am officially down 97 pounds!!  I can't believe it!  Hopefully I can lose that last 3 pounds this week, but that means no more cheating on fine Spanish cousine!  DRAT!! 
After the wedding Jodi, Chris and I went to Shiloh's baseball game and then Jodi, Shiloh and I went furniture shopping.  Jodi and Aaron are moving to Gainesville to go to the University of Florida this summer and they are going to be roommates.  My parents are buying a house for them to live in while they are in school and Jodi is in full on decorator mode!  We found some really cute furniture at Rooms to Go.  We loved it, Aaron hated it.  Oh well, that's their fight not mine.  While we were furniture shopping we picked up some birthday presents for my dad and Chris.  Daddy's birthday is tomorrow and Chris' is on Tuesday.  We had a birthday dinner at Nana and Papa's house tonight.  It was fun because I haven't seen my aunt and uncle since Christmas and I was no fun to be around because I was in bed the entire day sick.  I also got to play with my little cousin who is about 5 months old.  He is too cute and so happy!  My Nana made homemade ice cream so I cheated a little more and had a bite.  Only one bite though!!  I will have to do better tomorrow!!

April 7, 2002
Happy Birthday to my Daddy!!!  He's 48 today!!  I can't wait until he turns 50, I think we'll throw him a wake for his birthday!  HA!  Shiloh spent the night last night and we went to church this morning then out to lunch with the whole family to Durrango's to celebrate Dad and Chris' birthday.  We had fun!  Then Chris, Aaron and I helped my friend Kelly move.  What an adventure!  The matress almost flew off the truck and the cat was going to run away, it was a mess.  But through it all we made it!!  Kelly makes world class chicken alfredo and she is inviting us over for dinner as a thank you for helping her.  I can't wait!!

April 8, 2002
I have to tell you that today was a good day!  I met with some of the hospital staff to discuss the new bariatric program (keep your fingers crossed for me).  I also had the opportunity to talk to the very first patient that is going to have surgery under the new program.  I can imagine that she might be a little nervous about that, but the doctor that trained her physician is going to be in on the surgery, so that will be nice for her.  We talked for about an hour and she asked me a lot of questions, but I enjoy sharing my experience.  I think I shocked them when they asked my about my scars and I asked them if I wanted to see them.  So I showed them my scars and lost a button off my shirt, oh well.  I am excited about the possibility of working with the program, but I am not sure exactly what they are asking me to do.  I am hopefully going to get to go to next week's support group meeting because all of those patients are having surgery the week of April 22 and they haven't had the opportunity to talk to anyone who has had the surgery.  That should be fun. 
After my meeting I went upstairs to see my mom and all of her friends.  As I walked through the door everyone was like WOO-HOO look at you!!  They made me turn around and everything.  I feel so uncomfortable when people make such a fuss about me. I know that it is a big deal, but still I am not used to people paying so much attention to how I look.  Anyway, after that mess Jodi and I went to the mall and she bought new bedroom accessories for her room in her new house in Gainesville.  Then we went to dinner with our friend Jami at our new RJ Gators restaurant.  It was the first night it was open and the food was good, but the service left something to be desired.  Oh well, after dinner Jodi and I went to Target and she bought dishes, picture frames, and some other stuff I can't remember.  She is going hog wild!!  I think it is neat for her because I can remember what is was like when I moved out for the first time.
Ok, The Bachelor last night was so good!  I can't believe that I am watching this show!  I usually don't get into this type of show, but it's good!  I still can't figure out what self respecting woman would sign on for this show and what guy would want to marry someone under those circumstances.  Well, the one thing that floored me was that Alex (that's the bachelor) could take 3 girls out on individual dates and the other 5 on a group date.  Anyway, Alex took out Shannon and told her to dress casually for a night out on the town, so she did.  When Alex should up he was in a suit without a tie and she was confused because she was told to dress casual.  Well, this is when the good stuff started happening....He took her to Rodeo Dr (hey, I've been there!!) and they went into Escada (which was closed by the way, open just for them) and Shannon got to try on anything that she wanted.  So she did and they finally picked out a dress for her and she picked out a tie for him and they left the store.  Ok, stop right there...this is nuts!  I would love to have a guy do that for me.  I love surprises and this is the ultimate, but wait, it gets better!  He finally tells her that they are going to the Four Seasons for dinner, but not in the restaurant, oh no, in the Presidential Suite!!  What a view! So anyway, they're eating and talking and her tells her, in Pretty Woman fashion, that their is something missing from her dress and he gives her 2 Harry Winston boxes.  One has these beautiful diamond earrings in it and the other is a fabulous diamond necklace.  She of course is speechless and I of course am jealous.  So they finish thier dinner and dance on the balcony to a violin played by this guy who appears out of nowhere and the date ends.  Boy if the other girls knew what happened they would be irritated.  I think that she is the one he will choose in the end.  I really like them together.  So at the rose ceremony (he gives each girl he wants to stay a rose and the others have to leave, sad I know) he chooses his 4 girls and this one chick Rhonda (I didn't care for her) starts acting all emotional and they have to call the paramedics because she is having trouble breathing.  They tell her that she is having a panic attack and she needs to calm down and that's where the show ends.  I hope that she was alright.  I can't wait for next week's show because Alex is going home to meet the final 4 girls' families.  I am sure that will be entertaining!!  I guess my whole point for including this in today's entry is because that date is like my perfect dream date.  I don't expect Harry Winston or the Four Seasons, but a scaled down version would be perfect.  I guess the idea of a guy going through all the trouble of planning something like that to surprise you is too sweet.  Ok enough mushy stuff!!

April 9, 2002
Happy Birthday to my darling brother Chris!!  He is 22 today!  I have to say though that right now I could really hurt him!  Why, you may ask, well today Jodi and I went to work out (for the first time) with him and he practically killed us.  Well, killed maybe a little strong, but my arms and legs feel like Jello.  I know I am going to be in major pain tomorrow.  Speaking of tomorrow I have a job interview with a company in Sarasota.  I guess I can't wait for this hospital thing forever (even though I want to).  I hope it goes well.  I will keep you posted.

April 10, 2002
Ok, so I had my job interview today and I have to tell you that I wasn't that impressed with the company, but I need a job.  Anyway, I talked to this guy for a while and he asked me all sorts of non-interview type questions.  You know the typical interview questions like "if you could change one thing about yourself what would it be" and "describe a situation when you did blah blah blah".  Well this interviewer didn't ask me those types of questions he asked things like "so how did it feel to get laid off" and "do you think you deserved to get laid off".  I was shocked that he would ask questions like that because they have nothing to do with the job I am interviewing for.  Then to add insult to injury he makes me take what I am dubbing "The Stupid Test" he tells me I have 15 minutes to complete 50 questions and it is ok if I can't answer them all.  When he hands me the test I am looking at the questions and am shocked at the sheer stupidity of them.  I kid you not one of the questions read "If 2 + 6 = 8 write 8 in the space provided, if 3 + 3 = 7 write 7 in the space provided."  I was like this has got to be some trick question, they cannot possibly be undermining my intelligence and asking me if 3 + 3 = 7, but they were.  I am still insulted by the questions.  To make a long story longer I finished all 50 questions (in under my 15 minutes time frame) and turned it in and the guy actually acted surprised that I had finished so quickly.  After that I left.  I am supposed to find out on Monday what their decision is.  I might not be stupid enough to work there!  HAHAHA!  After my interview I had lunch with my pastor, Joel and his wife, Christi.  We discussed all of the fun upcoming events that I have planned for our church groups.  I am so excited!!  We are having a Mother/Daughter Banquet in May to celebrate Mother's Day and all the guys are going to be the servers at the dinner.  I guess we will have to repay the favor for Father's Day, we'll see!! 
Tomorrow my mom and I are going to Gainesville to look for houses for Jodi and Aaron.  We have to leave really early because it takes like 3 hours to get there.  I can't wait!  I love to look at houses; I just hope the real estate agent has picked out some good ones!  I'll let you know!

May 2, 2002
Ok, I know, I know, I have been very bad about updating the site so I will make it up to you today by having a VERY LONG entry so I can catch you up on the latest happenings. 
First of all, as of today (5 months and 1 week after surgery) I have lost 110 pounds and I weigh 233.  I am wearing a size 18/20 shorts/skirts/pants and an 18/20 or 14/16 shirts.  I actually bought a pair of shorts and a shirt from Old Navy and they fit!!  I almost cried to think that I could buy and wear something from another store other than Lane Bryant.  I would like to lose about another 90 pounds and I am hoping to do that before my one year anniversary.  I know that to do that I need to get back on track with food.  It's weird because at the very beginning I did everything I was told and followed all the directions and now that I am 5 months out I am starting to cheat a little more.  I am still supposed to be on a protien only diet, but I have eaten a little bread here and there and a piece of chocolate every now and then.  It just feels nice to be able to eat something other than protien.
Last week was a very exciting week because Christina went to see my PCP because hers wouldn't even talk about the surgery with her.  So, after seeing my doctor she has the go ahead for sugery and a new doctor.  We also went to the first meeting at Manatee Memorial Hospital for the new Gastric Bypass Program.  There were a lot of people there and it was nice to be able to share my story and my success with the surgery with those that were there.  Dr. Este did his first surgery on April 22 and from what I hear it was a huge success.  The one thing that I find encouraging about this program is that they 99% of the time do the surgery Lap and not open.  That was a big encouragement for Christina.  I am still hoping that this new program will lead to a job for me, but if not I will still go to the meetings so that I can talk to some of the people that are interested in having the surgery.  I know that before I had surgery the most helpful thing that I did was to talk to other people that had the same surgery.  I think that the program is going to be a huge success because there is not another doctor in this area that does the bypass surgery.
Let's see what else is going on...I still don't have a job.  That is really starting to get to me.  I have applied to every company in this town and Sarasota in the payroll field and I am still looking.  It makes me feel bad, but I am keeping my chin up.  I know that God has a plan for me and I need to be patient, but that is the hard part for me.  I think that is what he is trying to teach me and hopefully I'll get the message sooner rather than later!!
Jodi and Aaron have found a house in Gainesville.  It is a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom house with a porch and a 2 car garage and a nice dining room.  They went up with my parents about 2 weekends ago to look at it (it was one that mom and I found on our trip) and they put an offer on it.  Unfortunately someone else also made an offer and now we are waiting to see what happens.  Jodi also FINALLY received her acceptance letter from UF and is going to start in the College of Libral Arts in August.  Aaron was accepted for summer session, so he has to be in Gainesville mid-June to start school on July 1st.  They are both so excited!  I am happy for them, but at the same time sad for me because I am going to miss them!  I know it will be good for them and I wish them the best!!
Ok, the moment I know you have all been waiting for...The Bachelor reaction!!  First of all I would like to say that I am disappointed that Shannon was dismissed.  I thought that she and Alex looked great together and had a real chemistry, but I can totally understand that she was upset after knowing that all 3 of the girls were going to get a card offering to spend the night with Alex.  I think that Alex chose well of the 2 girls he had left.  I really didn't like Trista and I am glad that she wasn't chosen.  She just seemed like she was in it just to win, not to be with Alex.  I don't think that Amanda and Alex will last.  I am sure that they aren't even together anymore.  But that's just my personal opinion.  I guess it's hard for me to understand how it can work out because I look for so much in a guy and it is not all based on money or superficial stuff.  I haven't really seen anything on TV as an update on Amanda and Alex, but they left it that she was going to move to California to be with him.  We'll see how it goes!!  Best of luck to them both!
I am not sure if I have shared this little tid bit of information, but I LOVE Trading Spaces.  If you have never watched it you are definately missing out.  Check out and see what it's all about.  I took this quiz to find out which Trading Spaces person I am most like.  I am not sure if I agree that I am Alex, but at least I wasn't Doug!!  Take this quiz and see who you are!
I put up some new pictures on the Before and After page so check it out.  Talk to you later!

take the
which one of the trading spaces cast are you? quiz!

May 7, 2002
Today I had a very busy day.  I went to the hospital this morning to have my after picture taken to be used for an article in Florida Healthcare News Magazine and in the hospital's bariatric presentation.  I am excited that they wanted to use me.  I'm flattered actually.  I am so not used to getting this  much attention.  We went all around the hospital and Stacey (she'd the Director of Physician Relations and SUPER nice) took pictures of me outside, inside and every side.  She took a LOT of pictures.  I just hope that one of them actually turns out.  I was telling her today that people get on my case a lot about not putting up a ton of pictures of myself on this website.  My only excuse is that I am too critical of myself.  You know Dr. Phil on Oprah??  Well, he would say that I need to speak better to myself because I am my best friend and greatest enemy.  OK, I know, I know...I have too much time on my hands and I need to get a job.  Well, Stacey and I talked about that today and she said that it is pretty likely that they will hire someone part time and she is pushing for me to get the job.  So please keep your fingers crossed for me!!  After the hospital I met my friend Kristen at the health food store for 20% off Tuesday WOOHO!!  I bought some apple cider vinegar pills and some caprillic acid pills to take with my beta glucan pills.  Just what I need, more pills!!  I am taking that combination as a natural way to rid my body of all the residue from having thrush.  The weirdest thing happened to me the other day, I was having a facial and the lady (who is an RN) asked me if I had ever had thrush because she could see tiny spores on my face through the magifying glass.  I totally freaked out.  I can't believe that the thrush had come out on my skin.  She said that that can happen sometimes because the body has to rid itself of these types of things and sometimes it appears on the skin.  The fact that I live in Florida doesn't help much either.  Oh well, I hope that these pills gets that crap off my face!!  After the health food store Kristen and I went to Olive Garden for lunch and then I ran over to Pier One to pick up some door prizes for a banquet I am planning for Friday night.  I am planning a Mother/Daughter banquet for my church and I have taken care of all the details, I hope!  I am thinking that if the thing with the hospital doesn't pan out that I would like to work as an event planner.  That would be so much fun!  I am going to start taking pictures of all the events I plan from now on and put a scrapbook together just in case!  This afternoon I just ran errands for Friday.
Tomorrow I am so excited for Christina.  She has her first appointment with Dr. Este (the surgeon in town that is going to do her surgery)  I am going with her and I am so excited for her!! 
To date I have lost 110 pounds in just over 5 months and I couldn't be more thrilled!!  I am wearing a size 18/20 bottoms and either a 14/16 or 18/20 shirt depending on the style.  Only a few more sizes and I won't be able to fit in anything that Lane Bryant sells.  I think that I will have a party when that day comes!! 

May 11, 2002
Happy day after Mother's Day everyone!  I hope all the moms out there had a great day!  My poor mom had to work at the hospital for 12 hours yesterday, but we made it up to her by having a fabulous dinner ready for her when she got home.  We made grilled steak, grilled shrimp, cocktail shrimp, parmesean/ garlic potatoes, green bean casserole, asparagus, salad, rolls, and pink lemonade pie for dessert.  Whew!!  It was a lot of work, but it was worth it for my mom.
I have to tell you that lately I have been in a slump.  By slump I mean that I still have no job, last week I didn't lose any weight and I feel just blah.  I am not sure if it has anything to do with the weather being so freaking hot, but I just can't shake it.  The only thing that is exciting me right now is the murder I am hosting in about 2 weeks.  You know those games called "How to Host a Murder"??  Well, I bought a couple and we are going to do one called "The Watersdown Affair" with my friends from church.  I think it is so funny the names that they come up with for the characters.  My name is Miranda "Randy" Shetes and I am a trampy American actress.  My sister is going to be a murder mystery writer names Allison "Ally" Bye (get it alibi?) HAHA!!  It should be a lot of fun.  The story is set in the 1930's so Jodi and I went to a fabric store and found vintage patterns for 1930's style dresses.  My Nana is going to make them for us.  I think that is so sweet of her!  We actually went yesterday to buy the fabric.  I should scan a copy of the picture on the front of the pattern and put it up for you to see.  I think I will do that and then I will put a picture of me wearing the dress on the site too!  You know one cool thing is that the largest size pattern that they make is an 18-20-22 and I can wear that size!!  I would have been so depressed if I had tried to buy a pattern 6 months ago because they didn't make a size big enough.  Even though I am wearing an 18/20 right now I think we are going to make the size 22 because I don't want it to be too small.  We'll see how it goes.
I may have a new job as a nanny pretty soon.  I went for an interview on Saturday with a family in Sarasota.  They were really nice and their daughter (she's 15 months old) was really cute.  We talked about all the responsibilities and I asked questions and we had a nice time.  They were really nice people.  I was nervous that they would be snotty or something, but I was wrong.  I should hear back from them this week about the salary, etc.  I'll keep you posted.
Have a great day!!

May 15, 2002
OK, there are several things that I need to get off my chest, so beware!  HA!  First, I have been in a slump lately because I haven't lost any weight for the past 2 weeks.  I know that I told Christina even if I never lost another pound I would be happy, Well, I guess that's not entirely true because I get aggitated when I am not making any progress.  As of today I have crossed that hurdle because I am down 4 more pounds, down 114 total.  I now weigh in at 229.  I am only 29 pounds from my next milestone which brings me to my next topic.  I am soooo IRRITATED right now I could just scream!!  Why, you ask???  Well, as many of you have read I have been out of a job since October and because of that I have been paying COBRA insurance at a whopping $311 per month.  Last week I decided that I would see what individual insurance would cost.  I figured it couldn't be any worse than paying for COBRA.  Well, let me tell you that I found out today that I am uninsurable.  UNINSURABLE!!  You have go to be kidding me!  And it's not because of the surgery either, no, it's because I still weigh too much.  I have to weigh (at most) 209.  Do these people not understand the fact that I have lost 114 pounds and to lose 20 more pounds is basically inevitable???  Give me a freaking break!  So, the insurance company doesn't care that I have had major surgery in the past 12 months or that I have had numerous knee surgeries, NO, apparently losing 114 pounds is not enough for the insurance Nazis, they won't accept me unless I lose 20 more pounds.  I guess the thing that bugs me is that 20 pounds is not going to make that big of a difference in my health at this point.  If they are willing to insure me at 209 what's the big deal about 229!  Good grief I am irritated!!  So I guess it's at least another 2 months of COBRA for me.  Ok, I am practicing my deep breathing to calm myself down, all I need now is to have a heart attack and cause myself to be totally uninsurable!  On to the next subject.....
Exciting news!!  I just came to the realization that I can wear everything in my closet.  Do you realize how long it has been since I could honestly say that it is difficult for me to pick something to wear because I have so many choices???  I can't even remember a time when everything I owned fit me.  Granted some things are too big and this one shirt I picked up from Old Navy is a little snug (it fits, but I am not comfortable wearing it in public just yet).  I think that is so cool!!  I am going through my closet right now and I have one pile for Goodwill and another for Christina.  She is going to have more clothes than she's going to know what to do with.  But, cleaning things out means that I need to go shopping to replace some things!!  I love to shop, so it won't be too much of a struggle!!  :o)
Ok, one last thing...Rachel is finally having her baby tomorrow night on Friends and I can't wait!!  I might be pathetic, but I am so sad that next season is going to be the last season of Friends!  I could imagine watching them go through mid-life crisis troubles and deciding which nursing home to put Joey into, etc.  The sad thing is I would probably watch it for that long.  Oh, well I guess we can enjoy it while it lasts.  I hope you all have a wonderful day!!

They had a girl!! Emma is such a cute name!! I can't believe Rachel said yes to Joey!!

May 20, 2002
I have a job!!  I accepted the nanny position!  I am very excited.  I will probably start next week.  The people that I am working for are so nice.  They seem like they have it all together, I guess we will soon find out.  I am so thankful to God for providing this job for me.  You know the Lord sure works in ways that we will never understand.  I didn't even go into this nanny thing to get a job, I was just searching the internet and reading the postings.  I finally just filled out an application and the next day I was contacted by my now employers.  If you would have asked me if I was going to have a nanny job after just looking around on the internet I would have told you that you were nuts, but I guess this is just what God had planned for me.  I will keep you posted on how my new job goes. 
Jodi and I went shopping on Saturday and I bought some new shirts, all 14/16, and some new shorts.  I am still wearing a 20 in jean shorts, but I bought a pair of black draw string shorts in a size 18.  I can't believe that!!  An 18!!  Woo Hoo!!!  It won't be long now until I am graduating from wearing clothes in Lane Bryant.  I can't wait until I no longer fit into the clothes in that store.  You know it's weird because I have been so grateful for Lane Bryant for many years because I could always fit into something in there, but now I am like "get me out of this store!"  I guess it's been my goal for so long to be able to shop at Limited or Banana Republic that now I am impatient.  Am I nuts??
Today I have my 6 month check up with my PCP.  I already know what he is going to say because Dr. Marema's office called me last week to tell me they had received the results from my blood work.  The nurse said that my iron was low and my B-12 was low too.  I am not anemic, I just have to take an extra multi-vitamin every day and for the next 3 months I have to have my B-12 shot every 2 weeks instead of once a month.  I have to have my blood work redrawn in 3 months to recheck all my levels.  I'll keep you posted.
One final issue I am having is with my hair.  It's still falling out.  I am not talking about your run of the mill hair loss either.  I am talking about clean out the drain after every shower hair loss.  I am not sure what else to do.  I am using Nioxin shampoo and conditioner and it doesn't seem to be helping that much.  I bought some other stuff from Nioxin that you spray on your scalp after you shampoo and you just leave it in.  It says that it is for the advanced stages of hair loss, so we'll see if it works.  I am just getting nervous that I am going to go bald.  My hair has always been so thick and now I can share hair ties with Shiloh!  I am just praying that it all grows back! and soon!!  Any idea when this will end?!?!?