About Gastric Girl

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Tomball, TX, United States
My name is Laurie. I'm 34 and I live in a suburb of Houston, TX. My life isn't super exciting or ultra dramatic, but I love it! My blogs are just a peek into my life as I know it. I'm quite random and have an opinion on everything, but I love everyone's aspect on things, even if I disagree. The world would be quite boring if not! :-)


Anyone out there?

I've been informed that I needed to blog, so here we go! :-)
Yes, it's been quite some time since I've blogged.   Life has had it's ups and downs, as has the scales, but my health and life in general is great right now.    I'm up about 20 lbs from my lowest weight, but at my lowest I know I was not healthy at all.  I was sick from ulcers, and unable to hold food down much, and I had absolutely no strength.  I'm trying to find my happy medium between the scale, my clothes, and my mental happiness about the two...  it's quite a challenge!

So, I am 5 years out from my surgery, and I still feel like a success even though I've had a little of a gain.  I work out 3-6 times per week now, and am truly feeling the strongest I have ever felt.   I am back in school, and my Scentsy business has really taken off since I have last written a blog.  I'm now a Director and have 85 people on my team.    I've earned an all expense paid trip for 2 that I went on last June, and earned one for this year as well... wahoo!!! :-)

I haven't looked on my blogroll lately either..  Who's still out there?? :-)



We're Getting a Trader Joe's!!!!

Trader Joe's is coming to Houston!   I am thrilled about this.  Being an avid blog reader of food and health websites all over the US, I sometimes get weepy when I see all of these amazing items that people purchase from Trader Joe's that I simply don't have access to!     So now here is where I need your help!
What should we get first?   Help me build a grocery list!  It hasn't even opened yet, and I'm not sure of the date, but I'm bubbling over in excitement and I'm SOOO ready to go shopping there! :)

I apologize to you all for being a terrible blogger.   Life is busy, and the blog has taken a back seat for awhile.  I DO have 2 product reviews and a giveaway planned - hopefully both within the next week or so! :)

Miss you all!



I'm so sorry that I haven't been on here lately.  Life has been extraordinarily hectic the past several months, especially with work.    There's really not much new going on in my life lately (unfortunately!)
I have a few product reviews that I will be doing very soon as well - so get ready!
I will make an honest effort to update more often! :)
xoxox to you all!



Are You on Facebook?

If so, please add me!  I'm so far behind on reading blogs, but want to feel connected somehow!   I had to just mark everything as read in my reader and start from scratch today. I HATE doing that, but I had over 1,000 unread blog posts... A tad overwhelming! :(

Anyway, please add me on Facebook if you haven't already - Laurie9797@yahoo.com  If you don't mind leaving a message that you're a blog reader, that way I can make sure I accept you! :)  

I will make a valiant effort to catch up with you all. I truly miss reading about everyone's day to day life! :(




I'm so sorry I haven't updated in well over a month.   I had my revision surgery on March 10th.  So far all is well on the recovery. I go back to the doctor on Wednesday for my 6 week check up.    I ended up getting some major pains in all my joints about a week after surgery, and it ended up being gout.  So, a week after surgery, I got put on steroids.  It's not fun being able to eat just a few ounces and being constantly hungry because of steroids... Ugh!

Besides that, life is alright... I feel like I'm at a crossroads in every part of my life, so I guess it's just a time of self discovery.    I feel like I just went through that a few years ago, but here we go again!

My Scentsy business is going pretty well.  My team has grown from just me to having 7 people on it!   I'm excited.  We're expanding to the UK and Germany next week, so if any readers over there are interested in a wonderful opportunity, please contact me! :)

My cousin is coming in from New York next week - I'm super excited! We're probably going to visit San Antonio... fun! :)    He's also going to spend some time in Dallas since I can't take the whole week off of work... I just used 9 days of sick and vacation during my surgery. :(

I hope all is well with everyone.  I am working on trying to catch up with you all.  
Laurie :)


Life Update

Hi All!
Sorry for the late update, but I've been living life, kicking ass and taking names!   Well, not really kicking any ass or taking names, but you get the drift... :-)
My MRCP came back normal - I don't know if that's because I haven't had the seriously bad back pain since September/October, or if it is indeed not pancreatitis. I suppose that only time will tell - if the pain appears AFTER I get my ulcer surgically removed, then at least we know what to approach next. :-)
I have been bad.   I'm basically eating whatever I want the past couple of weeks. It's been Valentine's Day... my birthday is coming up, and I am about 2 weeks out from a surgery which will prevent me from eating for approximately one month.   So, I say to heck with it lately, and am just enjoying what I will no longer enjoy.   I have gained about 5-7 lbs over the past 2 months, but I'm actually surprised it's only 5-7 lbs.   With that weight added on, I'm happy losing 15 lbs total but more than that I will wonder if I look sickly.. that's why I'm not worrying about it!

On another note - I have the Mystery Hostess party open for 5 more days.   Please take a look at my site!  There are only 2 sales a year, and now is one of them - almost everything is 10% off!   The product is wonderful and you could win 15% of the total party sales and up to 4 half price items if you win!   Please click this link to get the easy peasy details on the party!    I greatly appreciate you taking the time to look..  I've had a good month with Scentsy - I have 3 new people on my team!  Exciting!!!

On yet another note.... I'm turning 35 in less than a week and I'm really bummed about it! :(




Well, yesterday I had my MRCP to check for pancreatitis.  I'm not sure if it will actually show anything since I'm not having a flare up... and the fact that I'm not positive it's pancreatitis - that may make it not show either, HA!
I hope to have the results tomorrow, but it's hard telling.
My surgery is four weeks from tomorrow.  I am looking forward to closing that little chapter in my life, that's for sure!!!
The weather here in Houston is crazy.   Last week, we got Friday off because we were expected to get 1-3 inches of snow, and lots of ice.  No snow for us, but lots of ice.  The next day, it was in the 60s outside!!  No wonder everyone is sick around here!  
Don't forget, I'm having a mystery hostess party!  Just click the link for more details!  We already have several entries going in, so we're off to a good start! Thanks for your participation, ladies!!
One of my dear friends is getting a new camera for her birthday next week, and I think we're going to take some photography classes together... awesome!!

Anyway, I just wanted to check in!!
Hope you all are doing well! :-)


It's Party Time!

Hi all!
In an effort to earn some money for my surgery next month, I'm having a Mystery Hostess Party for my Scentsy business!
What does that mean for you?  Whoever wins the drawing will be the hostess of the party - earning up to 15% of the sales and up to 4 half price items.  You can earn entries in several ways!
1) Earn 1 entry for every $10 purchased on the online party - Just click this link  Another plus - During February only, almost everything is 10% off.  Very few exclusions apply, and all prices are as marked on the webpage.
2) Want to earn extra money for yourself, and have a great time doing it?   Become a consultant through me, and get 10 entries!   February is the best month to join, as you get extra items - the current catalogs and scents as well as the upcoming catalogs and scents... best of both worlds!
3) Earn 1 entry for 'Liking' my Facebook page.
4) Earn 1 entry for blogging about this post!

Please leave 1 comment letting me know which entries you have earned, and I'll get you into the drawing.  I'll use a random number generator to select the winner, and then contact you to pick out your free and half price items! :-)

A little information about Scentsy if you have never heard about it -  We have dozens of gorgeous warmers available for our over 80 wickless scents.  The highest wattage bulb is only 25w, so you can feel safe leaving it on 24/7 if you like. No more worrying about whether you blew that candle out!    There is truly something for everyone.    The company is only in it's 5th year, so the market isn't nearly as saturated as other companies as well!   We are also getting ready to expand to the UK and Germany in the next few months, so there is a lot of opportunity there as well.

I really appreciate you taking the time to take a look at my site.    It is going to be tough trying to come up with roughly $2,000, but I'm going to try my best!  If you have any questions about the product or the opportunity, feel free to email me!  Laurie9797@yahoo.com


I have a date!

I got a call from my surgeon's office this morning, and I was approved.  Huzzah!
I decided to schedule my surgery in March - one reason being that I am about to get my MRCP (I think that's what it is called) on my pancreas done next Tuesday, and I want those results in first, another being that February is a short month and I'm limited to next week only if I'm out of work for 2 full weeks by chance, and thirdly, it's my birthday month, and Valentine's Day... and I want to celebrate both... and not be in bed, feeling like crap, or just being woe is me in general.    Wow, that was the longest run on sentence in the entire world!!!! HA!
So - March 10th it is.  March 9th I will have my pre-op appointment and my hospital appointment.   Then, the 10th, I will be getting my revision.   I'm still a little nervous about losing too much weight, but I will be vigilant with my protein drinks, as well as trying to maintain my muscle mass as soon as I'm given the green light to work out.  

The sucky thing about this is all of the money I am about to have to come up with.  While I do have insurance, my out of pocket is $2,500.  I am going to have to work my butt off to get some Scentsy parties scheduled to earn some extra money, that's for sure!     I will probably do an online party with my blog buddies on here and have a drawing to see who will win the hostess goodies... yeah, that sounds like a good idea! :-)

Isn't it amazing how things can change so much in 24 hours?



Another Medical Update

Hello to all - sorry I haven't updated, but there really wasn't too much to update... There, still isn't really, but I wanted to check in.

As far as my revision surgery goes - I still haven't gotten approval from my insurance company, so I'm playing the waiting game.

On Facebook, I was reading a thread about Pancreatitis..   So, I looked into it, and it matches EVERY symptom I have (the acute, not chronic).  So, I made an appointment with my doctor.   He agrees that it is definitely worth looking into, especially with surgery pending - if something is wrong, maybe I can get completely fixed while they're "under the hood."    The thing that haunted me the most was the abdominal pain that radiates to the back with pancreatitis - that's not a common issue with ulcers.   With pancreatitis, if left untreated, it could turn into diabetes.   I did NOT lose 160 pounds to get diabetes.   So, better safe than sorry..    With this, I got a lab slip to check enzyme levels if/when I have another flare up, as well as having a MRCP done (next Tuesday morning.)

I honestly hope that it is only an ulcer.   But, at the same time, it's good to know that if it isn't just the ulcer, I know what it is, and can begin getting treated with that.    Regardless, we know the ulcer is a recurring problem, and I will continue going the route of the revision to get that problem taken care of.

Well, that is all for me at the moment.  I hope that everyone is doing well.  

I'm ready for the next chapter of healthiness.... this crap is getting old! :-)


Thursday 13: Randomness

Happy Thursday!  I haven't done a Thursday 13 in ages and I've missed it.    I don't have very composed thoughts right now (do I ever?!), so I figured I'd get a jump start with getting some of my random thoughts out in a lovely list form:
  1. I need a new song for my alarm on my phone.  Right now, it's the Rocky Theme Song, and that doesn't get me out of bed swinging like I thought it would.  Any suggestions?
  2. I've been lousy at meal planning lately.   I apologized to John for feeding him taquitos last night.   He laughed at me and said it's probably the 3rd time I haven't cooked something real.    So, I guess I should just get over it! :-)
  3. My surgery for my ulcer still isn't scheduled.  I am hoping to hear from them soon.  I'll give the surgeon's office a call on Monday if I haven't heard from them by then.
  4. My baby puppy is now 58 lbs.   My aging chihuahua is tipping the scales at 9 lbs.  Who do you think rules the roost? LOL
  5. I REALLY miss coffee.   It was my vice.   But my vice at the very least contributed to ulcer pain.  This is sad. 
  6. I noticed that gasoline is hitting $3.00 again..    Ugh!
  7. I'm SO glad that tomorrow is Friday.
  8. I get to leave at 3:30 today - wahoo!  I have a big Scentsy order coming in tonight so I will have time to sort it out and get it ready for my customers. :-)
  9. My sister and my youngest nephew are coming into town for the weekend. My nephew has a soccer tourney this weekend, right down the street from us.  I'm looking forward to some family time.
  10. There is A LOT of tension at work, between two of my good friends. I am trying very hard not to get involved..  AHHH!!
  11. I am craving Vietnamese food in a major way!!  
  12. I made my first batch of homemade pasta since getting my pasta roller/cutter attachments for my Kitchenaid Mixer....  it was alright, but I definitely need to tweak it a bit.
  13. I desperately need to go clothes shopping.  I have noticed that 75-80% of my clothing has been handed down to me during my weight loss process.  I am ready for clothes that are 100% me. I love a lot of the clothes I have received, but I am ready for a few new pieces. :-)
Hope you all have a Happy Thursday!     To join in the fun, visit Thursday 13!


Huge Favor

Hello to all!  Would you mind taking a moment of your time to vote for me on the left hand side of the page?
There is a little box that says "Vote For Us" Best Tomball candles, or something of the like... If you don't mind casting a vote, that'd be most wonderful of you!  :-)

Thanks so much!



Still Waiting....

Have I ever expressed my lack of patience in the waiting department?  For some reason, it seems like it's been AGES since the doctor's office submitted my paperwork. Granted, it's only been 3 business days, IF they worked on MLK Day.  I had to! LOL
The good news is that I am not having pain every time I eat now... so the waiting game will be more bearable.. Whew!
It's been a busy month for me. I've had something going on every weekend, and will continue to for the rest of the month.   I'm HOPING I get approved so I can time my surgery the way I'd like so it has a minimal effect on my job.    February 7th would be the ideal day.   John would be lucky.  Our first Valentine's Day together, I was having massive gallbladder pain... Our second Valentine's Day together, I was having massive ulcer pain.. and here we are, coming up on our 3rd, and I will be unable to eat at a super-expensive restaurant for the 3rd year in a row!     I don't like this trend...  but it is what it is!
It is really sad that I'm looking forward to surgery..  But, I am!   I am ready for life to be normal and complication (hopefully!) free!  Also - a week to two weeks off of work would be amazing!!

Hope everyone is having an amazing day!
Laurie :-)


Another Update - Surgery!

Hello my lovelies!  
It's been a hectic week for me... I went to Dr. A (my GI doc last week), and he referred me to the Davis Clinic for my revision surgery.  I was supposed to get a call from their office, but they never called.  So I called them Monday, and they refuse to see me or perform any surgery on me because they didn't do my original surgery.   Well, my original surgeon has retired... so now what?   The office manager continued to talk down to me, and had the nerve to ask me if I had tried medication for my ulcer.   Um.. Wow.   I don't know of many people out there who would opt for surgery when a pill would work, do you?    I've had FOUR ulcers in the past year, and each one gives me chronic pain for 2-8 weeks.   GAH!
Anyway, moving on from that - I called Dr. A again, and had them send me to a new surgeon.  Their office was MUCH friendlier, thank the Lord!  I already had my consultation with them, and they will be sending my information on to insurance to make sure it will be covered.  If it is not, I will have to go to the emergency room when I have bad pain again.   What they will be doing is a revision of my gastric bypass.  They have to remove a small part of my pouch as well as some of my intestine, and then reattach it all.   Recovery will be 1-2 weeks, and I will be on liquids a few days, then soft mushy foods, and then after about a month, I will be eating normally again. 
I'm just ready for all of this to be over!  2 weeks recovery beats the ulcer any day!   


Happy 2011!

Happy New Year, one and all!
I'm glad that a new year is upon us...  there is a freshness..  the flubs of 2010 can be a distant memory and the slate is wiped clean.    I love clean slates!
I made an appointment with my GI doc for this Friday. At that point, he'll speak to a surgeon, and then I'll have an appointment with the surgeon... then get my surgery scheduled.   I'm looking forward to it.   Yeah, that sounds messed up, but when you've been suffering this long, and knowing that after a week or two of recovery, all will be well in the world.... it's worth it!!!  I am hoping that I can get in for surgery the week of the 17th.   It's hard telling dealing with surgeon schedules but that's what I'm hoping for!    I'm nervous about my diet post op.   I have a feeling it will be the same as the gastric bypass post op diet - liquids and then pureed foods for several weeks.   Yeah, I'll lose weight.  But I don't want to lose more than 10 lbs.   I have a feeling that will be inevitable.  Let's just hope that I don't end up looking too frail... That would suck! I've never in my life been worried about losing too much weight.. ha!
Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday season and have the best 2011 imaginable!!!

Laurie :-)


Positivity and Reflecting Back

Here we are, at the end of 2010.   Overall, it's been a great year.   I've had some really low points too, mostly health related with this stupid ulcer that came back AGAIN.   
I am not one for resolutions, but I do want to try to make 2011 a POSITIVE year.   I think it will help my overall health to try to be a glass half full kind of person.  I usually am, but I've lost some of that somewhere along the way, and I definitely want to get that back. 
I also want to stop obsessing.  About everything.   I can't control everything, and I need to make myself understand that.   I'm 3 years out from surgery and have maintained my weight within 5-10 pounds for 2 years.  That's pretty damn good!   I am not exactly where I want to be, but I am so close.  I need to stop revolving my life around losing those last 5-10 pounds and focus on living and just being happy.   Food does not should not control me.  It shouldn't consume my thoughts like it does now. 
Here's to 2010!
  • I got to go to Disney World and Universal Studios with my boyfriend.  We had our first real vacation together and I got to meet his sister's family, who I adore!
  • I still have a job, when so many others are struggling.
  • Two of my best friends in the world are pregnant.   
  • I started my new Scentsy business to earn extra money, and am doing quite well with it!
  • I was able to send my mom to New York to visit family.
  • I got my mom's garage completely cleaned out (with some help of course!)
  • John got me an iPad for Christmas!!!  Wahoo!
  • I got my pasta roller attachments for my KitchenAid from my mom for Christmas. :)
  • I got in touch with my half brother and his family.   I hadn't seen them or heard from them since 2003.  I love Facebook for this reason!
I'm looking forward to 2011.  I know I'll be having surgery for my ulcer, but I'm thinking of it in a positive way.   No more suffering with this damn thing after that!   AND, I'll get some time off of work! HA!

Happy New Year to all of you!  I hope 2011 is the best year ever.
Laurie :)



I'm a little late on this (just 5 years), but over the past few weeks, I've developed an addiction to the show Dexter!    The first 2 seasons were on Netflix through our PS3, and I watched those two seasons over the course of a week...  then I rented season 3 and 4 at Blockbuster.. I hadn't set foot in a Blockbuster since the late 90's! LOL    And then I got to Season 5, which just finished a few weeks ago on Showtime... so, what did I have to do?   I'm now a Showtime subscriber! LOL   
I heard that the Big C is a really good show as well, so I'll probably start watching that one while I have Showtime!
I got Showtime yesterday morning, and I'm already on Episode 6 of the most recent season.. I don't know what I'll do with myself once I'm done... maybe get off my ass and start working out again?  Hmm...
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was very nice! My awesome boyfriend got me an iPad for Christmas! I was totally shocked...   wahoo!   Did you all get some awesome loot as well?
Happy New Year!!



Christmas Spirit

I'm not much in the Christmas spirit this year, and it sucks!  I think it's partially due to the fact that I've had a cold or the flu or something since the day after Thanksgiving, and I can't seem to kick my cough... and the other part is that I've done most of my Christmas shopping online this year.   It's not very conducive to adding to my holly jolliness!!
I stayed up till 1 am last night wrapping almost all of the gifts that I've purchased so far, and I'm almost done with everyone on my list!   That did help a little.. it'd help even more if I didn't wrap like a 12 year old boy! Ha!
There is a picture of our tree - John was sweet enough to put it up and decorate it for us since I was under the weather!  :) He did a good job decorating it!
Also, here is a picture of us from the day after Thanksgiving... my sister took the pic.  A few hours later, I was down for the count with the flu or whatever it is! lol