Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Should I get a fill?

Hello, fellow band-o's! I am so bad at blogging. I won't try to make a bunch of excuses because it doesn't really matter, but my original intent was to be a little more faithful to this. I guess we'll see if maybe I can make that happen this go-around.

I am here today because I'm wondering if you all might be able to give me some advice on whether I need another fill or not. I feel like I might need one because I am able to eat like any normal fat person again. Namely, this weekend, I was in Vegas (the DEVIL) and I ate all-you-can-eat sushi twice (and ate 2 rolls + some other sushi pieces) and ate enchilada combos twice (and again last night when I got home from work and didn't want to cook) (I like enchiladas a lot.) So, that's an example of the amount of food I have been able to eat. On the other hand, I have still had some problems getting stuck in certain situations (eating too fast). Eggs and chicken seem to be the main problems (which one got stuck first? hardy har har).

Anyway, is that enough info? What do you guys think? What have your experiences been like?

Monday, May 9, 2011

She's baaaaaa-aaaack!

What's up Lap Band Blog World? Sorry I've missed you.... or sorry I just plain haven't shown up. Life has been busy. Also, since I've had my band for almost 3 months now, I feel like I've started to get the hang of things and haven't been feeling myself drawn to the blog for support. I had to tell myself though that there is always more to learn and it's always a good thing to get on here for that extra little boost of confidence and some comradery.

Since I've been on here last, I had my second adjustment, and it's been pretty great! I've lost about 8 or 9 pounds since the fill (on April 13) and that was with minimal exercise. I've been doing some hiking with James and my friend from church but probably only 5 times at most. I'm pretty happy about it! I'm thankful for the band! I have had a few things that got stuck, with the last incident happening just this morning. Twice it was chicken (both times it was chicken breast--once baked, once canned), and the other time was some Triscuits. All three times, it's been because I wasn't paying attention to chewing well. Other than that, I've had pretty good restriction and have been satisfied by small portions. I think I could really rock it with maybe another .5cc. I don't even remember how much I have in now, but I know it's not much. I must have thick stomach walls or something (like that's any different than any other part of my body... haha)! 

Well, I am going to get to reading! Just wanted to say hi and update! I will try not to make it so long next time!

A little before and after action:


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Adjustment #2

Well, it's been almost 2 weeks since my first fill... so I think it's about time for another. But really. I was doing great at first, eating little portions out of my little bowls and feeling satisfied. Then I went to Vegas for a few days... and realized my band wasn't doing any of the work. I guess it shows that I have good self-control when I think I need to. However, as soon as I noticed my band wasn't going to stop me from eating however much I wanted to in Vegas, I ate as much as I wanted. Mind you, I have gotten used to eating less, so I didn't go way off the deep end. I was still sharing meals with James. It was just a lot more food than I should have been able to eat with a good adjustment I think. Also, I gained 2 pounds. Blecchhh.

I had my 2nd adjustment scheduled for late May, but I called yesterday and made an appointment for tomorrow. I figure with all the money and time that I've spent on this band, I'm going to get all the adjustments I need. (My adjustments are free for the first year with the program fee I paid to my surgeon.)

That's pretty much it for now. Hope everyone is well!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fill 'er Up!

I guess my fill went pretty well. It was a different experience. Kind of fun though because the surgeon was demonstrating the process for the nutritionist. There was a lot of port prodding going on. I got 1.5 cc's added, so I'm at 2.5cc's. It sounded low compared to what a lot of people get, but the surgeon said that it is different for everybody depending on individual anatomy, which makes sense. Maybe I have thick stomach walls. Anyway, I'm glad I got it done finally. I've been on liquids and puree the last couple days. The scale finally budged! I was stuck around 230 for so long and today I'm at about 227. Woohoo! 

I ate some scrambled eggs this morning. I made two and probably ate only one. I was trying to be careful and also I was typing an email to my brother in Iraq, so I was kind of distracted too. I didn't have any problems with the eggs, so that's good, because I love them!

Buuuut, that was a few hours ago and I'm hungry now, so I think I'm gonna have some refried beans! YUM! I eat these cheap Stater Bros. store brand fat free refried beans. They are amazing! They have good texture and come spiced with chili powder and garlic (probably to cover up the fat-free-ness and it works)!

Hope everybody has a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Appointment!

It was a warm, sunny, Monday afternoon and Sarah had just returned home from some exciting investigative work. As she emptied the contents of her purse, she noticed a notification on her cellphone. "One missed call from Dr. Bobby's office!" she exclaimed. "I better return the call!" She touched the screen of her phone and it roared to life as it returned the oh-so-important call. "Thank you for calling Dr. Bobby Bhasker-Rao's office. How may I help you?" the voice on the other end of the line asked.

"This is Sarah and I'm returning the call I missed."

"Oh yes. Sarah. Thank you for returning this oh-so-important call! You were originally scheduled for an appointment on Thursday afternoon. We're wondering, can you come on Wednesday afternoon instead?"

After a millisecond of careful thought and consideration, Sarah told her, "Yes." And the voice on the other end responded, "Thank you. I will put you in for that time." Sarah expressed her gratitude, gave her a closing greeting, and ended the call.


Two things to take away from the above "story": 1) My fill is TOMORROW!!! and 2) I should never quit my job to try my luck at writing. haha


I haven't kept a food log of any sort to this point, but this morning I did write down what I had for breakfast in my pretty Vera Bradley notebook I got from Barnes & Noble awhile ago. We'll see how long it lasts. Do any of you out there keep a log or did any of you keep a log in the beginning stages while you got used to the ways of the Lap Band? I have kept logs in diets before. One diet I tried was very calculated. I had to log calories, protein, carbs, and fats. Then I had to make sure I was eating the right percentages of p, c, and f. It was originally a body builder diet and was actually pretty good, but like every other diet, it fell by the wayside. Well, the calculation part at least. I tended to eat similar to the diet for awhile and it's pretty much a high protein deal, similar to Lap Band.

Welllllllll.... time to get to work. Hope everybody has a great day!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Little Nervous

Until right before I had surgery, I wasn't aware of the period of time everybody lovingly refers to as "Bandster Hell". I was all psyched up for the pouch and the restriction and then I learned the fill didn't come until weeks later. As I was healing, I followed the diet prescribed by my surgeon and nutritionist. As I started eating soft and solid foods, I realized there was virtually NO restriction to be found. At first, I was used to eating very small portions and would be satisfied pretty quickly. But, over the past few weeks, it's almost like I never had surgery. I know I have already mentioned that, but I feel pretty bad about it right now, and I'm here to vent a little just like everybody else. I'm embarrassed to mention specifically what I've eaten in the past few days, so I will just say that I was eating like somebody that appeared not to care about her weight whatsoever. Now it's only 5 days until my fill and I am not mentally prepared at all! I tossed and turned in bed last night and, at one point, I just laid there thinking about the lap band and my fill and how it's going to be/feel. I just really hope I can start to use this tool to its full potential and get my money's worth! I don't plan on toting this supple silicone pal around in my abdomen for nothing, but I wouldn't blame anybody if they said that hadn't been apparent.

Did anybody else go through this? How did you prepare for your fill in the days leading up to it? Did the fill make things better? Please tell me it will... (if it will).

On a more positive note, I did go shopping today and got myself some summer clothes from Old Navy. I got some T-shirts (XL's that are a little fitted right now but will be last longer through the weight loss) and 2 pairs of capris (one size 18 [I had been in a 20!] that are not a perfect fit right now but will be in a few weeks, and since they were on sale and I really liked them, I also bought them in a size 16). I also went to Sunglass Hut and invested in a pair of girly sunglasses. I have a pair of Ray-Ban aviators that James bought me a few years ago before I started flight school and I love them, but they don't go with the dressy sorts of outfits. I have other sunglasses floating around but they are cheap and I don't "take care of them". The glasses I bought today will join my Ray-Bans as "glasses I actually care about" and I will keep them in their case when they aren't on my face. 

Retail therapy... gotta love it!

Well... one more thing. I wanted to post a picture from the past... the thinner past. I would LOVE to make it back to this weight even though my goal weight is 150. I was about 165/170 here. This is 4th of July weekend 2008:

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Face Plant

Ugh! I just fell off the wagon face first into a box of Thin Mints! Although, I must say, I only ate 6 of them. I remember back in college when I could sit and eat half a box (one tube) of them without thinking about it... and I'd be waving at everybody on the wagon as it passed by. I think today I was a little stressed and there was nothing/nobody around to distract me from it. 

But, damn, those things tasted good!

A week from tomorrow I get my first fill! It's about time! I almost feel like I never had surgery. I know partially it's my fault for not always acting like I had surgery-- *cough cough* portion sizes *cough cough* thin mints *cough cough*-- but part of it is the fact that there's no restriction and I know I can get away with it. I don't doubt my ability nor willingness to comply once I get a fill. 

Speaking of compliance, has anybody ever heard of somebody's stomach exploding because they ate way too much and clogged the stoma? A lady at church who had the roux-n-y told me her friend's stomach exploded and she had to have emergency surgery. Crazy. ... I don't know how much of the explosion part I believe..

In other news, my pastor called me yesterday and asked me to be the second praise singer for church. There is one girl that usually sings the praise songs but she's not there all the time. In her absence, I will sing. I don't know when people decided I was a singer, because I most definitely am not. I'm so much better at flute, it isn't funny... PLAYING the flute. Don't get any weird American Pie ideas like everybody else does. :-P

Well, off to church choir I go! Excited to get back so I can make some salmon for dinner and then read your blogs!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Little About Myself---A Survey of Sorts

1. Regardless of what stage you are in - in your weight loss, get healthy journey – do you still consider yourself “fat”? Was there a point when you stopped feeling that way?

I AM fat and even when I lost 70 pounds, I never realized that I wasn't "fat" anymore. I guess part of that was being in the Navy and being at the very top of the weight standard. I am looking forward to being more supportive and appreciative of myself this time around.

2. Tell us about your first kiss.

And this one time... at band camp....ha. But for real. I was a counselor. Yeah, 19 years old. It was a pity kiss. I was smitten until the next day when I found out the guys was bisexual and then I was grossed out (only because I got all these ideas of where his mouth had been and I didn't want to be part of that.) That's pretty much it. Not very special.
3. Describe your parenting style (either current or what you hope to do or what you would do if you ever had kids)?
I am hoping I will be the loving disciplinarian. I am afraid that I will end up being the iron fist with no capacity to emotionally support my children (like my dad). However, I am excited to have kids in the next couple years and find my way!

4. How would your best friend describe you?


5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.

For work, I make appointments for interviews and plan trips to track down my subjects and sources. I end up going onto the Marine base at least twice a week and when I'm not directly involved in work, I'm checking out the eye candy! haha Then sometimes I meet James for lunch, and he is nice eye candy too. :-) At home, I watch TV shows with James, such as Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, The Biggest Loser, and Vampire Diaries, and I talk to the doggies. I go to church choir rehearsal on Wednesday nights and go to church with James on Sundays. I hang out with the old people after church, and I love it! On Saturdays, James and I like to go to the Palm Springs area to get a taste of civilization and normalcy. It's a good time. That's kind of the normal

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Zumba! Zumba, Baby, Zumbaaaaa!

A few years ago, I was slim and trim and had just become an officer in the best navy in the world. I was stationed in Pensacola, Florida for flight school and I was having a great time! There were friends, beach-front bars, and ZUMBA! During the week, Adina was the instructor, a voluptuous Puerto Rican with attitude. On Saturdays, Priscilla, a petite, little spitfire of a Latina was the instructor. Adina delivered the fun, sexy workouts and Priscilla, the fast-paced, heart-pumping workouts that kicked my ass! It was so much fun and those girls helped me keep my weight down as best as I could. One day, I left Zumba and called James. When I told him where I had been, he came up with this little monotone chant ditty:

Zumba! Zumba, baby, Zumbaaaa!
Zumba! Zumba, baby, Zumbaaaa!
Zumba! Zumba, baby, Zumbaaaa!
...and so on and so forth...

He repeated it many, many times and it has become the anthem of Zumba and we sing it anytime I end up finding another class. Well, I finally got myself over to our base gym on Thursday afternoon for the Zumba class (Zumba! Zumba, baby Zumbaaaa!) and got my ass kicked!!!! It was also that day that I realized that my port pain had finally gone away! Buuuuut, on Friday, after having pushed myself through the whole Zumba class the day before, everything hurt on my body EXCEPT for my port! haha ...actually I'm not kidding. I've been limping around since Friday morning. I knew I was in for some real pain when I got up after sitting through an interview and I limped/shuffled away in my high heels. It just got worse and worse throughout the day. I'm sure my heels didn't help but for some reason, my left calf was pretty much inoperable. It sucked. Oh well... I figure that I can look at the pain in one of two ways:

1) I had a really awesome workout and I really felt the burn!


2) It's my body's way of saying, "That's what you get for not doing anything for almost a year, fatty!" 

The first thought is definitely more positive and it's what I thought for the first half of a day of "feeling the burn". However, after a day of "the burn", I was definitely limping...uhhh...leaning toward the second thought. I'm still recovering at this point, but I plan on getting back to the class this week. Some of the routines are not what I'm used to as far as Zumba goes, but obviously it worked. 

How many of you out there have been to Zumba?

Days to first fill: 11... and getting so impatient! Let's get this show on the road!

Hope everybody has a great week!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!

My best friend and her rock-climbing posse were in town this weekend to do some climbing at Joshua Tree National Park. It was so much fun watching them put their lives in jeopardy as they hung from cliffs over the unforgiving rocks below! You won't catch me doing that anytime soon... One thing I did join in on though, was the eating! Oh man! Having visitors is a really easy way to kill a diet! I had me some barbecue (about 3 times), some Mexican, some pizza (twice), and it was great! Who said Bandster Hell was so bad? .... ha ... ha.................ha. 

Back at it today I guess. Only 16 days until my fill, so I really need to work at some good habits. I'm so excited to have some restriction and to figure this all out! 

A couple questions:

When does the port pain go away? It hurts after I go out for a walk from the bouncing.

What were the first solid foods you tried after your first fill?

Thanks everybody for your support and advice! I'll be on the road today, so your comments will keep me company! Have a good day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Exerciiiiiiiise the Demons!

Today was such a long day! I woke up at 4:00am to make sure James got up in time for work and ended up in the living room talking to him. Then I decided to put a movie on Netflix. (Never Forever--pretty good Indie movie. I recommend it for people that like their movies a little offbeat.) ....and I never made it back to sleep! It was a nice little morning though. I started doing some work at 6:30am and then at 7:30, I decided to take a walk... like a real exercise kind of walk! I wore my shape-ups and a sports bra and a t-shirt and my new clearance Under Armor USMC jacket and James' Chicago Bears hat and my iPod. I ended up out there for a half hour. I walked down the road and around the corner to this desert park where there's a real oasis and a little path. I walked around the path and came home. It was fun and refreshing! 

I decided to give up sleeping in past 7:00am for Lent. It's a real problem for me and I think it will help with some stress and my exercise (more walks!).

Tonight I also took a little 15 min (3 mile) ride on our recumbent bike that's been parked in the living room collecting dust. I feel pretty good about myself tonight! I really want to see the scale start moving again.... oh, Bandster Hell....

Days to first fill: 21!

Have a good night everybody!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sagging Stockings

Today was much better! I watched my portions and was more conscious of my chewing. No problems! 

So, the band geek got to direct the church choir this morning! The director told me 20 minutes before our rehearsal Wednesday night that I was taking the helm for the week because his granddaughter was being baptized today. I was so nervous this morning! Part of the music director job is also leading the congregation in song which really only means that I had to sing into a microphone during each song... NOT something I'm used to! Put a flute in front of my face and I'm fine, but a Everybody was so nice afterward though, and they gave me lots of compliments and support. I know that part of the story doesn't have much to do with Lap Band... but what I WORE does!! 

I wore a teal sweater and a houndstooth pattern skirt with black tights. I bought the skirt back in late September and the sweater in early November, both for my new job wardrobe. Around Thanksgiving, I hit my heaviest weight and wouldn't have been caught wearing either piece. Today, everything fit looser than it did when I first bought it! I actually hadn't worn the tights yet but I'm assuming they were looser than when I bought them. They were sagging down and scrunching at the ankles and I had to keep pulling them up! I probably could have enlisted the old ladies at church to commiserate with me! haha 

Sagging stockings... a small victory. :-)

Days until 1st Fill: 24!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Trial and Error...

...and in the last couple days it's been more error than anything. 

I'm sure you're all aware that between surgery and the first fill there is this time where there's not a whole lot of restriction. Well, it's funny, because I would like nothing more than some restriction, but I have TOTALLY been taking advantage of NOT having restriction. Also, I think this has also made me slip on good habits I had started to form, such as chewing and chewing and chewing. And some had asked, so I'll add in at this point that I started eating soft foods on Monday (Feb 28).

For example: Last night I decided to make meatloaf (YUM) for my boyfriend (James---see picture below) because he was on a three-hour trip back from dropping his sister off at the airport in Las Vegas. It was just a little surprise that I knew he would enjoy. Anyway, I was so excited to see him and to eat this yummy, yummy meatloaf and I just frickin' SCARFED it down like I hadn't eaten in days! I immediately regretted it. My stomach hurt! I didn't have any other kind of symptoms but I definitely could tell that I'd eaten too much, too fast.

...and then today James and I went down to Palm Springs to go wine tasting and get some lunch. (I know alcohol is to be AVOIDED but this is a hobby of ours. Anybody have a similar story and any advice or tips?) We went to a restaurant called Islands and decided to split the 1/2 rotisserie chicken. I was proud of the choice. But past that and not drinking with my meal, I didn't do much else right. I didn't portion my food out and I scarfed my whole half of the deal, including the tortillas served alongside...  And THEN.. (hahaha I just have to chuckle because it's just funny admitting all this)... I made James go to the frozen yogurt place (about 15 minutes down the road). I started eating my yogurt (YUM) and got about 10 minutes down the road with that and BAM! My stomach hurt and my shoulder hurt bad! 

And I cried on the way home, not because of the pain, but because I knew the pain was my own fault and that I had just had surgery because I wanted to control this very kind of thing. I felt fullness and pain in my shoulder for about 3-1/2 hours... it was bad news. I've been telling myself all afternoon and evening that I can't be the only person that has had this problem during this stage of the game. Please tell me I'm not wrong!

As far as weight goes, I'm hovering around between 228-230. It hasn't really changed (gone down) in the past week. I know I need to bump up my game. ...I can't wait for that first fill! Only 25 days to go!

Well, I guess that is mainly what I needed to get off my chest for now. Thanks to all of you who have begun to "follow" me! I will try to get to all of your pages in the next week or so! 

James and I

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm Banded! -Post-op Report-

I'm 9 days post-op and overall I'm not feeling too bad! The surgery went well. Dr. Bobby, of Lite Life Surgery, Palms Springs, CA was at the helm. He said there were no problems and he even fixed a small hiatal hernia that I had. That might have contributed to some of my acid problems and pain in the past, so I'm hoping that having it fixed helps in the future

My mom took the Greyhound over from Tucson and was there a couple days before and a couple days after my surgery. My boyfriend, James took the day of my surgery off. They were both there helping me out. It was great to have them there even though I felt like crap after surgery and I had no patience for anybody. On top of all that, my first nurse, Egle (she had a German (?) accent), freaked out because I didn't bring my diet instructions with me... you know, the one that only consists of diet of ice chips. I handled myself well in the situation. I think the pain and the drugs helped me to step up to the plate and not take her crap. She was  good nurse, but she had no bedside manner. My favorite nurse was Mercedes, the little Filipino lady who took me on my walks throughout the night. She was great. We had some nice little chats

I went home on the full liquids and was happy with that. Clear liquids pre-op suuuuuucked. I've mostly been eating yogurts, soups, and liquid breakfast. Don't tell, but I may have had some mashed potatoes too. I get to start purees tomorrow. Any suggestions for good pureed foods? 

Also, anybody else experience any left shoulder pain? I had some sharp pains in my left shoulder and I read that it's common because of air and some nerve that travels between the diaphragm and the shoulder that gets irritated by the port. It seems like it had subsided a little (knock on wood) so I hope it's gone altogether soon.

Currently, I'm regretting trying to lie on my stomach in bed last night. It didn't hurt, but within about one minute I began to fear how it would end up feeling. So, I turned over and OUCH! Whoops. My little port was not happy and it continued to hurt today. I hope it settles down, because the pain makes me feel a little uneasy.

Any words of advice or any food tips would be great at this point! Also, I'm looking for others who are quite new to the process to share the experience with. Just make yourself known if you're out there!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

4 Days Down, 5 to Go: Pre-Op Diet Fun

Starting weight: 250 lbs
3 days into pre-op diet: 243! Whoop whoop! I haven't been this excited about losing 7 pounds since the time I almost got kicked out of Naval Aviation for being too fat (and I was down to 165 then. Oh, how things change...)

So, this pre-op diet thing hasn't been amazing, but it hasn't been miserable either. My surgeon's office supplied all the replacements: Bariatric Advantage banana flavored meal replacement powder and drink shaker, Bariatrix Proti-15 peach mango and lemon drink mixes, Bariatrix Proti-15 cream of chicken soup, and some protein bars that are good but I just don't remember the brand. My prescribed diet is 3 shakes, a bar, and a soup per day, consuming them every 2-1/2 hours or so. Not too crazy to follow, I know, but there hasn't been one day that I followed it exactly. I was a little busy running out to do investigations and missed an afternoon shake or two. Also, I just got bored pretty fast and had to shake things up... llllllliterally. I mixed a peach mango drink mix "sachet" (that's what it's called on the website...fancyyy) and a scoop of the banana powder in my shaker and closed my eyes. Then I opened my eyes to make sure the drink would make contact with the correct part of my face. I closed my eyes again, took a drink, and I was in protein drink paradise...fiiiiguratively. ('cause we all know that place does not exist.) The last few nights I have also had a few egg whites alongside my soups since I'm usually starving by dinner time, and 8oz of hot protein drink with green flecks in a bowl pretending to be cream of chicken soup is hardly satisfying (even though it doesn't taste toooo bad). I knew a few egg whites wouldn't derail me either, since they are a pure protein and oh-so-low in calories. Also, I love eggs... from my head down to my legs... and let me tell you, there is a lot between my head and legs. That just goes to show how much I love eggs (or how much I have loved eggs? You be the judge.)

I'm getting so excited! Losing 7 pounds makes me feel like I've already started out on the journey and my surgery is a week from tomorrow, Friday, the 11th! My mom's visiting from Tucson for the event from Wednesday, the 9th to Sunday, the 13th, and my boyfriend is taking next Friday off to be there for me as well. I'm just happy to know that I will have people there to listen to me whine and cry. I just hope they'll take me out to Pizza Hut on the way home. (Psych!)

I'm also getting just a tad nervous because I really have no idea what to expect when it all comes down to it. I'm educated on paper, but I'm sure this is going to be an experience that will be nothing like I've imagined. Any bloggers out there with any stories or tidbits about the experience of surgery? Any bloggers out there pre-op as well?

Below is a picture from a couple weeks ago up by Big Bear Lake, CA. This will give you an idea of where I'm starting.

Off to watch some stand-up on netflix and read some more blogs...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Watch the pounds melt away

I've never blogged before, so it's kind of awkward for me to start. I guess we'll just go with how I got to this point tonight (or morning). So, let's see... it's early morning, Saturday, January 29, 2011 and I'm sitting up watching Netflix and starting this Lap Band blog. Before that, I was searching for and reading Lap Band blogs. Before that, I wanted to have some cookie dough ice cream. However, it was rock hard and I let it sit out to soften up a bit. As I waited for my cool, tasty treat, I became so engrossed in reading people's amazing Lap Band stories that I totally forgot about it. When I came back in from taking my dogs for a little walk, I saw the ice cream carton on the kitchen counter and realized what I had allowed to happen. It was no longer really cookie dough ice cream but more of a cookie dough ice cream soup, which is definitely not what I was going for. If I'd gotten too bent out of shape about it though, I'd have to question my motivation/readiness for this surgery. Instead of whining about it (or trying to save it by re-freezing, which never usually produces appetizing results anyway), I threw the whole carton away and thought of it as a sign that I am ready for this. I also thought that probably (and hopefully) this won't be the last time that reading people's inspiring blogs keeps me from sabotaging myself, whether consciously or unconsciously. And I can only hope to be able to the same for somebody else someday.

Small victories, right? Thanks to all of you who distracted me from myself tonight...