Firefox Live

Seriously Warm and Fuzzy

Firefox Live

Firefox Live Logo


Even though I’m in the middle of trying to catch up my surgery experience, I’m afraid that I must interrupt things for a moment. I just have to help promote something that sort of ran across my desk this morning. As a web developer, I usually have three of the major web browsers up and running.  Well, at least two of those that is. The big three to me are Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Of the three, I use Chrome the most and Firefox to develop with. Internet Explorer? Eh… Only to test at the end. It’s such a memory hog and has other issues that I will not go into here. Anyway, back on topic, Firefox updated overnight. So, I completed the update as prompted by re-starting Firefox. Usually, after the re-start, Firefox will display a “Thank you for using Firefox and for Updating” kind of message along with some other content on the page. Today, I noticed for the first time, there was a link to something called Firefox Live. It’s a live video feed of firefox cubs from the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee. Clicking the link takes you to the feed page. There is a “Download for Treats” section that helps earn the cubs treats. If you download Firefox version 4 Beta,  it moves a visual “thermometer” scale. It was at 11% when I first ran across it.

As Firefox states:

We’re streaming cuteness. We’re dedicated to doing good. We’re out to make the web a better place. Thank you for supporting Mozilla Firefox.

In case you didn’t pick it up before, here is the link to the live streaming site: http://firefoxlive.mozilla.org/

-Keith

Day Zero.5

Note from the Author: I really meant to do a day-by-day account of my experiences before and after the surgery.  That is still the plan, but this “day before” article is actually being posted one week after the actual surgery.  If you are glued to this blog, and I know you are (end sarcasm), then please be patient as I send them out.  I think it’s important to document the days after surgery and I do intend to do that.  There may be two or three posts a day until I catch up.  Sooner or later, we will get there.

Yes, I know.  As you are twisting your head at the title, I’m violating several grammar rules. Just go with it.  I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. Day Zero.5 is an extension of a previous post about my upcoming Bariatric surgery. In short, it’s the day before the surgery.  There is a lot to consider on that day.  Before you start thinking about what to pack for the hospital, the food you will need once you get home, or which puzzle book you want to take, you still have to eat.

Well, sort of.  One of the pre-operation requirements is to be on an all liquid diet the day before the surgery. So, I woke up not to my normal bacon, eggs, and coffee, but to a chocolate protein shake (GNC brand). To round out my breakfast, I also started drinking on a 20 ounce bottle of water with a CrystalLite shake-in. The goal was to make it last for a couple of hours by taking small sips. This is a lot easier said than done while trying to do it voluntarily. My remaining meals for the day were Campbell’s Cream of Potato Soup for lunch and plain chicken broth for dinner.

There is obviously a medical reason for the liquid diet on the day before a bariatric surgery. You really don’t want left-over pizza and wings falling out when the incision is made into your stomach. That would be almost as gory as the scene in the movie Jaws when they cut open the shark. Hopefully, a license plate wouldn’t fall out of your belly. Be that as it may, I think the liquid diet is also a good lead-in to what a bariatric patient can expect immediately following the surgery. Well, almost immediately. I will cover that in a future post. The point is that for the next two to three weeks, you can expect all of your meals to be in liquid form. I chose the Cream of Potato soup first mostly because I had not had it before and had already known how most broths tasted. Another reason to have it was to make sure I could stand the taste when I eventually made it to “thicker” soups in week two. For the most part, the taste was OK. It obviously needed something but it should not and is not an issue at this point. The purpose of the soup is to provide nutrition and filler for your now-small stomach.  One thing I did not consider was the serving size.  I ate the whole can of soup. That’s 10.75 fluid ounces mixed with a can of water (another 10.75 fluid ounces).  That makes 20.5 ounces of soup in one meal.  It occurred to me that I will not be able to eat that big of a serving ever again after surgery.  Instead, I will be eating in 4 ounce increments initially.  Realistically, I can (and will) stretch that can of soup into about five meals.

If you are considering bariatric surgery, your Day Zero.5 will vary from other patients depending on your individual health situation and type of  Bariatric procedure.   The following is a list of things I had to consider and be prepared for on the day before my surgery.  I have worded it as a guide should anyone else is approaching their Bariatric surgery date:

  • If you are on any blood-thinning/Anticoagulants such as Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, or Plavix, you should have already been off of it for a week now, or at least some of it.  Your doctor will advise you prior to your surgery.
  • If you use tobacco, that must stop thirty days prior to your surgery.  This includes all nicotine products like cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc.   My documentation stated that Nicotine testing is required for all smokers prior to having surgery.
  • You will be allowed to take some of your medications the morning of the surgery, but your doctor will tell you specifically which ones prior to the surgery.
  • Pack all of your medications in a plastic storage bag.  I have to use a gallon size storage bag for all of mine.  Do this in case someone at the hospital needs to know all of the medications you are taking.  You will have no doubt listed them previously at your doctor’s office or even during the hospital pre-operation session with a nurse.  It’s just a good backup and saves a lot of time.
  • You will need to walk two miles or the equivalent of 30 minutes of strenuous exercise the night before surgery.  This is no joke. It helps prevent blood clots.
  • No food after midnight.  That’s standard for surgery in general.
  • On the morning of surgery, you will need to bath or shower using an anti-biotic soap.  This will probably be suggested in the pre-operation documentation that your doctor’s office will provide.
  • Pack your CPAP if you are part of a sleep-study or are being treated for Sleep Apnea.
  • Pack loose “house” clothing.  This includes shorts, pajama pants, sweats, or whatever you wear around the house.  This obviously includes underwear too.
  • Pack shampoo and soap.  I’m bringing my own, but the hospital may provide you with those items as well.
  • Pack a bed pillow.  This will be very useful on the drive home from the hospital.  Just place it in front of you and secure with the seatbelt.  It helps brace your mid section while your driver maneuvers the car through several stop and go instances.  Another use for the pillow is when you have to cough (and you will).  Brace it against your body as you cough or sneeze.
  • Pack departure day clothing.  Make sure it is loose fitting and comfortable, especially the upper torso clothing.
  • Pack music, audio-book, or something to occupy your time when you aren’t sleeping, the television content sucks (and it does), and while you have no one with you.
  • Be smart about how you pack.  Don’t take everything into your hospital room on the first day.  Have a couple of bags packed and call them the “In” bag (as in “going IN to the hospital) and and “Out” bag (as in “leaving OUT of the hospital”).  On check-out day, tak the “In” bag to the car and bring the “Out” bag back to the room.
    The “In” bag should contain your house clothing, toiletry kit, etc.  It should include anything you will need while you are in the hospital.  The “Out” bag should include the clothes you are wearing after checking out, the bed pillow if you have room, and anything else you can think of needing on that day.
  • You will probably be prescribed with pain medication on your departure from the hospital.  Have a plan in place to drop off the prescription at your pharmacy on the way home.

This list is longer than I originally intended and I will probably edit this post to add more.  As you can see, there is a lot to get ready for on the day before your surgery.  If you are considering Bariatric surgery, don’t sweat it as it is really nothing to panic about.  Your health is the most important part of this process.  Your doctors have researched and consulted with other bariatric physicians and programs across the country.  It has been refined down to an efficient and successful process.  In the end, you are just along for the ride.

 

Day Zero

I don’t have any idea who will or will not read this blog. I started it years ago when I grabbed the domain name for $35. Ten years later, I finally have something to write about and hopefully turn it into something that will not be too privacy invasive for me and my wife. I also want it to become something someone else can use.

The term “Day Zero” has a significant meaning to us. By the way, when I refer to “us”, I mean me and my wife. Without her, there is no me. I spent the first forty-two years of my life without her and I only thought I was living. So, I’m putting any doubt about that to rest right now. She is my partner, my teammate, and best friend. OK, the best-friend part is a little dicey. I would love to say she is always my best friend, but there is one day a year in October where she and I just don’t get along. So, I will write about that another day. Getting back to “Day Zero”, I’m about to embark on a new journey. Sometimes, I really despise the term “Journey”. It’s way too over-used. I feel like I’m hanging out with Steve Perry on a road trip. Anyway, considering where I have been, journey is probably the best description. It’s a term that is also used by people in the same boat as me. I still don’t like it, but I digress. My “journey”, as it is, will begin March 7th. That happens to also be my late father’s birthday. I hope that isn’t an Omen. I will be undergoing a Bariatric procedure called the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.

Big Words. I can write the last one a lot better that I can say it. If I write enough about it, I may just use initials (VSG). I’m cool that way sometimes. Heck, before I finish editing this post, the whole freaking thing may be just acronyms. Anyway, once again I digress. I’m not going to detail the surgery here. You can read about it in the link. Notice the image below and focus on the stomach. See how it looks like a fist punching a water balloon? (OK, so I’m not so good with Rorschach tests.) That’s my stomach. Next time someone wants to take a shot at me, I will just show them this picture and explain. They can hit me, but I don’t think it’s going to have the intended effect.

Illustration: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Illustration: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (Courtesy of Midtown Surgical Specialists, Augusta, GA.)

Basically, they are going to take my stomach, which is the size of an NBA basketball (or so it feels like to me), and turn it into a five or six inch garden hose (or something like that). Part of what this blog will discuss is my experiences before and after the procedure.

So, if you are a Facebook friend of mine and wonder what my profile picture means, now you know.

 

-Keith

References

For more information on this procedure and Bariatric surgery in the Augusta, Georgia area,
go to Midtown Surgical Specialists

Wikipedia Article on Bariatrics - Bariatrics