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Old 05-17-2013, 11:15 AM   #421
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Great to have you back. You have been on my mind so often. Our support is here for you as you support Tony! Have a wonderful weekend in Maine and again it is so good to have you back.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:56 AM   #422
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We are off the Maine this beautiful morning -- it is mild and sunny with a nice breeze here. Tony is anxious as his surgery is only 6 days away. There is a 10-15% chance that he (or any patient) could die during this procedure but I told him to try not to think about that. He will be in good hands at Mass General and we have to have faith.

I am determined to stay on low carb this weekend even though we will be surrounded by treats and anxiety sometimes makes me want to eat.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:00 PM   #423
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Originally Posted by GailyGail View Post
Ladies, I am finally back and I am sorry I have been away for so long! Lets just say that is has been a rough three months. As it turns out, Tony does need heart surgery -- he has an enlarged aorta. He is scheduled for surgery next Friday at Mass General. I have been out of my mind with worry because he was feeling very poorly from mid-March until now. He got checked out by a different cardiologist who recommended surgery fairly soon so that's where we are. I am ashamed to say that I fell off the low carb wagon in mid-March when things got worse. Fortunately, I was only off for five weeks -- but that's long enough! I have been back on low carb since mid/late April and staying strong!

We are going to Maine tomorrow because it is the one year anniversary of Tony's moms death and there is a memorial service for her. There will be a cookout following the service so I am armed and ready with jumbo shrimp, homemade low carb cocktail sauce, Barefoot Contessa's herb dip and fresh veggies and a nice cheese tray. This will be the last time Tony's family sees him before the surgery so everyone will be anxious.

After the surgery, he will need to stay in the hospital for two weeks and then he will come home to recuperate for two months. At least we live in a good area for recuperation -- our place is on the ocean with a pool -- so he can lay in the sun and relax - while I grille our low carb meals -- LOL!

It is great to catch up with everyone again and I see that you guys are all doing really well -- which is fantastic. With love, Gail
Oh my goodness Gail! You have really been through so much! I pray all goes well for Tony!
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:01 AM   #424
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Maine was great and the memorial service for Tony's mom was really lovely. I am proud to say I stuck to low carb eating and woke up this morning with purple ketostix! I really think the key is planning and resolve. On Saturday, we had a cookout at Tony's brother's house -- his wife is gorgeous, a stick-thin Julia Roberts lookalike (I actually think she is prettier than Julia R.). Fortunately she is a wonderful person so I can't hate her -- LOL!

To stay on track, we brought some low-carb delicacies: big fat jumbo shrimp, low carb cocktail sauce (which tastes just like normal cocktail sauce), the Barefoot Contessa's Herb Dip and organic veggies, white wine, etc. I also brought other goodies like chips & salsa, margaritas and these Seven Layer Bars -- which are totally decadent but I did not take a bite. They have a graham cracker crust and are rich with chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coconut, peanut butter chips and caramel -- just ridiculous really. I had one shrimp, veggies and a hamburger without a bun, a serving of salad and a glass of white wine. That was what I had to eat for the entire day but I felt great! That is what is so awesome about low carb and ketosis -- it doesn't take much food to satisfy your hunger. And when everyone is getting second helpings of juicy burgers on buns, chips, potato salad, cookies, ice-cream and watermelon, it really helps not to be hungry so you don't get tempted!

We stayed overnight at Tony's dads house and on Sunday morning he brought home fabulous bagels from this incredible Jewish deli that makes literally the best bagels. They smelled so good but again I did not have a bite. Then we went to lunch at the this lovely waterfront cafe and I stuck to a grilled veggie salad with olive oil on the side (you never know about salad dressings at restaurants -- I always feel like they are hidden sugar traps!) while my lunch companions had a grilled crabmeat & havarti cheese sandwich with onion rings (now that looked good!), lobster rolls, fresh corn on the cob, french fries, the whole nine yards.

You know, I want to say that it is hard low carbing in the summer because there are so many good treats around -- homemade ice cream, watermelon, corn, strawberry shortcake, BBQ -- but then I realize that EVERY season has tempting food. Think about it: the fall has apple cider, Thanksgiving food, Halloween candy, etc. The winter has Christmas cookies and holiday fare, not to mention comfort foods. The spring you have Easter candy, holiday brunches with mimosas and scones.

I think as long as you pick low carb food that satisfies you, you can walk away from the temptations and just not even think about them.

So this week is going to be hard -- gearing up for Tony's surgery this Friday. Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers -- we really need them! xo Love, Gail
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:36 AM   #425
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I had a good food day yesterday. Skipped breakfast but had coffee and water. For dinner, we had grilled chicken, roasted broccoli and stir-fried green beans. It feels good to stay on track!

The weather is kind of blah here today -- very foggy and muggy out. I hope the weather improves for Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday, I have to bring Tony to the hospital so we are just counting the days to the inevitable. I really hope his surgery goes well. I cannot wait to bring him home once he is healthy!
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:30 AM   #426
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WTG keeping it LC!

I'm sending you positivity as you go through 'the countdown'. Been there, done that. I will repeat to you what they told us; open heart surgery is very, very common these days. It is considered routine to the cardiac units and its staff… just another day at the office for them! The staff is well trained and AMAZING during recuperation.

The morning we went to the hospital (Beth Israel there in Boston), we just maintained the attitude that everything would be fine. When dad was on his way into the OR we said, ‘See you in a bit.’

It was hard in the waiting room, I won’t lie. I could feel my heart beating and just visualized mine and his beating in synch… as long as mine was beating, his was beating. It did take hours to get an update so that was the hardest part. There were many families waiting that day (like I said, it is a regular thing) and time after time, staff came in with good news.

I am a big believer in visualization and positive thinking. I am sending you good vibes.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:57 PM   #427
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Trish, you are the BEST! Thank you so much for your lovely note, good vibes and reassurance above -- you totally made me feel better! By the way, you look absolutely gorgeous in your photo! You look so skinny too!

How long did it take to get an update? Tony's surgery is at 7:30 AM on Friday morning so I am wondering when I will hear something. Will it be in the evening or as early as the late afternoon? Just wondering...I know I will be a nervous wreck!

I am so glad that your dad is okay! You must have been nervous and scared too obviously. It is GOOD to hear that he made it through okay! I am hoping to have the same experience that you did. Fingers crossed and God willing!
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:27 PM   #428
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We had the same early morning start time. I believe the first update came around 11am... So it should be by lunch. You won't be going the whole day without word. Someone will come and update you while his procedure is still in progress. If I remember correctly, the 11am update informed us they had shaved off part of his heart and replaced the valve. They were then monitoring his progress before closing him back up.

When we first got to see him it was probably 4 or 5 and he was still in the cardiac ICU recovery room. He still had the breathing tube and was pretty out of it. They warned us he would look rough and not to be alarmed. He did and I was alarmed. Throughout that day, the most he could really muster was a squeeze of the hand. Once the breathing tube came out, his throat was sore and he was still sleepy from the drugs. All of this is NORMAL.

BTW, to ease Tony's mind (and yours) my dad said he couldn't remember ANYTHING from the ICU recovery room. So if he looks rough and is struggling with his tube, know he won't remember that part.

The staff will do a wonderful job of preparing YOU about what to expect... You are in the loop the whole time. It will be OK.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:49 PM   #429
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Oh Trish -- I LOVE YOU and THANK YOU! I just read your post out loud to Tony and his dad -- and then we were all holding hands knowing that we could get through this. I cannot thank you enough for this preview of what to expect because I have been scared to death and so has Tony! I honestly cannot thank you enough for sharing this information -- you have really made us all feel so much better. Sometimes the worst thing is the unexpected or what you don't know. When someone gives you guideposts (like you just did) it really alleviates alot of anxiety!

And you really do look so lovely in your avatar! People must tell you how pretty you are all the time! You have an Audrey Hepburn vibe for sure too.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:20 AM   #430
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I had a good food day yesterday. I am a notorious meal skipper but I just can't eat if I am not hungry. Yesterday, I had coffee and water for breakfast and handful of almonds and sparking water and diet coke for lunch. For dinner, we had cheeseburgers (no bun of course!) and salad with sugar-free Italian dressing. I treated myself to a vodka cocktail with diet cranberry juice (only a splash of the sugar free juice). I woke up this morning and my ketostix are a dark purple so that's good.

I hope I can stay on plan throughout the surgery ordeal!
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:34 AM   #431
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You can do it! I know you can! Tuck a bag of almonds into your purse so you won't be stuck needing a snack and having no options. Do you like trashy celebrity magazines? Take a stack with you to flip through. I wouldn't try to have anything heavy to read - you won't really be able to concentrate. And know that we are here for you!
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #432
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Thank you Julia -- you are the BEST! I love celebrity magazines! I also have the new Vanity Fair, Coastal Living and Town & Country PLUS I have a ton of work to do so I was going to bring my laptop. Believe it or not, sometimes I seek refuge in work when I get too nervous and that actually helps!

One good thing about fear and anxiety is that it actually works with ketosis to keep my hunger suppressed. So that's one good thing. How are you by the way? You continue to inspire me with your ongoing weight loss!
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:45 AM   #433
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Today is the day I bring Tony to the hospital. Last night was his last chance to eat for the next couple of days -- he won't be able to eat after his surgery very much. So I brought him home dinner from Del Frisco's -- this fancy steakhouse that is near where I work. He wanted some carby treats too so I got him a strip steak, creamed spinach, onion rings and a nice salad with green goddess dressing. I stuck to roast chicken, spinach and salad and one one tiny bite of an onion ring. I am still in Ketosis this morning-- in fact, my sticks are still dark purple in spite of that transgression!

I need to stay on track. Monday (Memorial Day) will mark one month to my return to low carb. I am aiming to lose 40+ pounds by my birthday (September 3) giving myself four and a half months to do it. I really want to get to 140-150 pounds by then and then use remaining months to get to my "fighting weight" range of 125-130.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:19 PM   #434
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I am keeping you and Tony in my thoughts and prayers for tomorrow's procedure!
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:00 PM   #435
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Thinking of you guys

Your Sept goal is def doable! My b-day is the 2nd I have a goal of 40 by Oct and crossing my fingers I can get to it! You're doing so great so far, keep on being awesome.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:18 PM   #436
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Thinking of you and Tony and hoping you are holding his hand in recovery at this very moment.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:19 PM   #437
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I've been thinking of y'all all day. Hope everything went text-book perfect and you are breathing easier. We love you!
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:56 PM   #438
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Actually ladies, the surgery is tomorrow at 7:30 AM -- today was the check-in and preparation. The procedure is worse than what we were led to believe -- they are actually replacing his aorta. There is a 15% chance that he could die during the surgery. Other risk factors are paralysis or kidney failiure. The surgery will take 6-10 hours and he will be in Intensive Care for at least four days after the surgery. He is terrifed but does not want to admit it.

Thanks for your support ladies -- it means the world to me. Tony is my whole world -- we have been together since 2001 and he is just the best guy ever. Love, Gail
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:57 PM   #439
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Dani, are you a Virgo too? No wonder why I love you!
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:24 PM   #440
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Oh dear! Well, I was thinking good thoughts today but that doesn't mean I can't do it again tomorrow! Try to get some sleep and we are thinking about you both.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:39 AM   #441
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Gail.........you probably won't be thinking about checking in here today, but please know that all of us are praying for Tony today! The medical team has to tell you ALL the possibilities of the procedure. It is a major, major surgery but it MUST be done because without it you know what the result would be. He is in excellent hands and the surgery team wants SUCCESS as much as you and Tony do! Sending good thoughts and praying for you both today and always!
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:55 AM   #442
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Sending you all the love and positivity I have Gail. Stay strong for Tony and we'll stay strong for you.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:22 AM   #443
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Thinking about you friend.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:07 PM   #444
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Praying for Tony and you..

Another Virgo here..Sept. 1st. We're strong.
(or we really keep up a good front when we have to)
You and Tong will get thru this.

Hope it's done and he's in recovery now.
You will be strong and be there for him.
Just don't make him laugh to much...might hurt..
just make him smile.

Know today and the days to follow will be very hard but
they will get better week by week.

Let us know how things are going. We're with you.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:06 AM   #445
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Hello lovely friends! The surgery went smoothly -- thank God! Tony is now in Intensive Care and will be there for the next couple of days as this was very serious, invasive surgery. He was still under anasthesia when I saw him last night. I called the hospital today to check on his condition again but they told me to call back later as they were doing rounds. Thanks for your prayers and good vibes -- please keep them coming as we are not out of the woods yet! Thank you so much! Love, Gail
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:15 AM   #446
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I forgot to add that I am doing okay on my eating and am still in ketosis. I have been so scared that I have not been able to eat for most of the day. I had two minor slip-ups but have stayed in ketosis so that is good.

On May 24, I had coffee with cream in the morning and then a diet iced tea when I got to the hospital. Did not eat until dinner and had a greek salad with grilled chicken at 10:00 PM when we got home. The salad came with pita bread and I nibbed on a corner of it (did not eat the whole thing). I also had two glasses of white wine to help me sleep -- not great, I know, but it did help.

Yesterday, again I had coffee in the morning and green tea at the hospital. Was totally not able to eat until last night. I took Tony's dad, sister, brother-in-law and nephew out to dinner at a restaurant near our home after the Intensive Care folks told me we had to go home so they could tend to Tony more. There is this cute old-fashioned ocean-side restaurant near our home -- serves very retro New England 1960s or 1970s type food -- you know like baked stuff shrimp, clam chowder, roast chicken, chicken pot pie, grilled steak, fried clams -- the type of place that still serves free cheese & crackers and very strong drinks. You know what I mean? Anyhoo -- the food at that place is pretty good if a little dated. The menu was a little tough to navigate as they still put bread crumbs on their broiled seafood (boo). So I had grilled chicken, salad with roquefort dressing and snap peas. I broke down and had two small crackers and cheese and a cosmpolitan cocktail (I felt I earned the cocktail...not so sure about the crackers though).

Anyway, last night and this morning, I am still in ketosis so hopefully the damage was minimal. I am trying to stay on the diet but my nerves and anxiety are in overdrive worrying about Tony. I am just trying not to give myself an excuse to go off the rails.

Thanks for listening guys -- I really appreciate it. I hope everyone has a glorious Memorial Day weekend and enjoys the start of Summer!
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:36 AM   #447
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SO HAPPY to hear Tony's surgery went well !!!! Now for complete recovery and happy times for the two of you !!!
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:55 AM   #448
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Great news! You take care of yourself do you can take care of him. You are doing great and amazing.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:16 AM   #449
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Great news about Tony! You are doing awesome as you try to keep yourself together. Just keep taking it one moment at a time and take gentle care of yourself.

Your description of the restaurant brought up a lot of memories growing up in MA. I know exactly the kind of food they serve and give you a lot of credit for navigating the menu as well as you did. I am visiting Boston later this summer and will have to have some whole belly clams and baked stuffed shrimp while I am there... And chowder... And clam cakes... And a lobster roll... OK, I'm done. Sorry!

Glad to hear a positive update!
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:16 PM   #450
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So glad he is ok!
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