Friday, December 30, 2005
Christmas was uneventful. I stayed home and enjoyed my alone time. Wednesday was my official weigh in day and I was down another 4 pounds. I'm at 204. Plan to be under 200 by the end of January if not before.
I have had a couple PB experiences. If/when I am totally honest with myself, I think I am testing my band now and then. Kind of like - how small a bite do I need to eat? do I really need to chew so much? etc. Not good. I need to adjust my attitude on that and stick to what I know works and doesn't work.
I purchased my Jazzercise membership. I will start next week. I had thought I might start this week, but that was not a goal. I am on vacation and am enjoying the time off and doing whatever I feel like doing --- which hasn't been a lot of anything! :) Although, I have seen a ton of movies - The Family Stone, Rumor Has It, King Kong, and Fun with Dick and Jane. I can't say any of them were 'excellent'. The Family Stone and Rumor has it were both cute. King Kong --- looooong - in fact, I nodded off during part of it - overall, it was OK. Fun with Dick and Jane -- maybe I just wasn't in the mood, but it wasn't that great. Enough of the movie reviews!
I am having a hard time remembering what and when I'm eating - I know hard to believe! I think that I will start tracking that on here as well, so some days there might just be entries of that and nothing more. We'll see how that goes...
30 pounds down
Hunger - minimal - have to remind myself to eat most of the time (lucky me!)
Restriction on board
6 weeks post op - Today!
Diet - Whatever - make good choices
Friday, December 23, 2005
I received a very nice gift certificate to a spa from my friends for my birthday. Today I went up there and got my hair cut and my eyebrows done. The haircut is much different from what I had before. I let the hair stylist do what she wanted - turned out very nice! Sexy you might even say! ;o)
Next week I am going back there to get a new hair color! Not sure what color, but something definitely different. I figured I might as well totally re-invent myself along with my band and why not start now?!!
I haven't been sticking to clear liquids after the first day. I switched to the pre-op Stage 1 diet and everything has been fine---just a little bit more stuff like applesauce and . I'm not sure that I have any restriction, but won't know until I am back on real food. I move to mushies tomorrow on Christmas Eve!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Well I was right and was hoping I was wrong. My port is on its side. They said that it is OK and that for right now they can work with it as it is. Hopefully this will continue to be the case. Needless to say, I am a little irritated.
Lots of stuff to report today...
Official weigh in (my scale) - 208! Down a total of 26 lbs. Doctor's scale - different as expected - 211.6. As I said, because my clothes will vary and also the time of day and I won't be able to weigh in once a week, I consider this my unofficial weigh in.
I got my first fill - amount was 1.2cc. Here's the story...
Showed up at Surgery Center of Richardson - commonly referred to as SCOR. I call it a 'fill mill'. All they do is fills and they do it for many surgeons. This will become important in a minute.
Checked in. Gave them my Driver's License and got forms to complete in return. Of course one was HIPAA, another was some type of standard form about emergency contact information, and the last was what I will refer to as an 'assessment'. I think that is what they call it, but can't remember for sure. It simply had questions about diet, exercise, etc. and you take it with you to the next step.
I didn't wait long at all and they called my name. A guy took me back - nurse I assume. He told me to turn the scale on. I'm looking at him like 'what the hell? I'm new here - what are you talking about?' I figured it out on my own and stepped on after removing my shoes and my sweater. As stated previously, weighed heavier than at home, but ignoring that. Then I was standing there and he was like 'oh you can sit down'. How the heck am I supposed to know that.
He proceeds to take vitals - blood pressure, temp, etc. Asks me if I have had any problems - told him about the PB and the salmon. During this time, we overhear another nurse saying that she is going to lunch. He said, 'last one to show up and first one to go to lunch'. Then he said he shouldn't have said that. No kidding.
So, next thing I know he is telling me that his mom found out that his step father is cheating on her. HELLO? And that he has been up late all week helping his mom move. Now seriously, do I care? Is that pertinent to my checkup? At least it explains what was not a very good experience. Maybe I won't have him next time.
On to the x-ray room. Go in and there are 3 people in there. They don't introduce themselves or anything. Just tell me where to put my purse and to get up on the table. This time I said something. I told them it was my first fill (read the paperwork!) and they were like 'oh ok'.
Told them I thought something was up with my port and sure enough there was. It's on its side instead of flat. No worries for now though.
One lady was really nice - she was telling me she was going to sterilize the area, etc. Then the next lady is coming at me with a needle. Didn't say anything or what it was for. Lucky for me, none of this stuff bothers me --- that is why the fill mill didn't bother me when I was looking around. Assumed it was the numbing stuff and it was. Hardly a prick and I didn't have any stinging at all. No big deal.
Now ready for the fill. Another needle. No pain, but there was some weird pressure as she was getting the needle in there. Asked her how much she put in and it was 1.2cc. Done!
Next was meeting with the patient advocate. Saw some good pics of what happens if you overeat - stretched pouch. Then we went over the tips. Moral there is to eat only 4-6 ozs at a time and if I need a snack inbetween meals to have one. Just make it healthy. (I personally think they should have handouts that provide examples of what good snacks are, but I can figure it out.)
Then I sat around in the waiting area for 30 mins sipping water. They do that to make sure you aren't too tight. No problem. No restriction at all. Just kept drinking, since it is toward my daily total and all. NOW the bad news. Clear liquids for 3 days. Not Phase 1 diet, but clear liquids!!! (I called and verified with the surgeon's office). After that 3 days of mushies. Then on to regular food - that is when I will know if I have any restriction.
In summary, the overall experience was OK. BE SURE TO STATE YOU ARE HAVING YOUR FIRST FILL (a little late for that for me, but maybe it will help others).
Here's the sheet I got...Tips from Inamed
TIPS FOR SUCCESS WITH THE LAP-BAND
- Eat only small meals (four to six ounces = 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
- Cut food into small, dime-size bites. Eat only one bite at a time. Chew thoroughly and swallow carefully
- Stop eating as soon as you feel full
- Do not drink while eating
- Eat only quality, nutritious foods. Remember protein first!
- Avoid white, starchy foods and fibrous boods with stalks
- Drink plenty of fluids during the day (eight 8oz glasses) unless contraindicated due to a medical condition
- Drink only low-calorie liquids
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, unless contraindicated due to a medical condition
- Call your surgeon, nurse practitioner, or SCOR if you have any problems, questions, concerns, vomiting, or are unable to keep down liquids.
These are general guidelines, but each patient is unique. Speak with your doctor or nurse practitioner if you have questions or are struggling with any of these guidelines.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
December 16 was four weeks post-op for me. Time has flown by. If only the weight could drop off as quickly! Tomorrow is my first fill. I am not scared of the fill per se, but I am scared about my port. Why?...
I had posted quite some time ago that I swore I had damaged my port by stretching in the middle of the night -- while I sleep. Although I keep telling myself it is highly unlikely that I damaged it, I still think it is a possibility. I guess I should be relieved that I will find out once and for all if it is OK or not. I'll try.
What is next for me? Well, I am almost at six weeks. That is the timeframe that I am giving my port to scar/heal into my muscle before I go back to aerobics. December 30 is six weeks. Isn't that hilarious? Right in time for me to join all the ohter people back at the gym for New Year's resolutions. Fine with me. That way I will just blend in. (I'll be doing Jazzercise in the morning before work.)
26.5 pounds down (Unofficial - weigh in on Wednesday - Just couldn't stand it!)
Hunger - at mealtime - just try to ignore in between
No restriction - except first thing in the morning which was proved by my PB experience
4 weeks 5 days post op (I am going to quit tracking this at 6 weeks)
Diet - Eating regular foods! yipppeeee!
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Well, I have been touting how I don't have any restriction and I think that because of that I was ignoring 'the rules' --- or at least not following them as closely as I should.
I woke up this morning and was HUNGRY! I had some leftover salmon and as gross as it sounds, I thought that would be a good breakfast. Grabbed in out of the fridge and started eating. This was the first time I had eaten any solid food first thing in the morning.
Two things in hindsight - eating too fast and bites were too big. Wham! It hit. A golfball in the middle of my chest. I knew I was in trouble. I figured the best line of attack was not to fight whatever was going to happen next.
The golfball just kept sitting there and sitting there. I knew it was going anywhere, but coming back up. Sure enough, PB. Unfortunately it had to happen a couple times before all of it was out of me. The slime was there as well. TMI, but I want to get all of this down.
Moral of the story: I have restriction in the morning and I have to follow the rules!
And there are more rules, rules when you PB...
- Some degree of vomiting or regurgitation may occur after you eat (no duh)
- This may indicate you are: eating too fast (yep), trying to eat too much, not chewing your food adequately (yep), or eating the wrong foods
- Every person is different and some foods may give you provlems and not others. Avoid those foods that give you problems (no duh)
So what am I supposed to do?
- If you vomit solid food
- Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for two hours
- Do not force the issue and try to eat or drink again immediately
- This may induce more vomiting. The more you vomit the more swelling that may occur across your band. This may lead to further obstruction.
- After two hours try solid food again
- Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for two hours
- If you vomit again
- Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for four hours
- After four hours try water only
- If you can tolerate water stay on clear liquids for 12 hours before trying solid food again.
- Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for four hours
- If you can't tolerate clear liquids or water without voiting notify the doctor immediately
- Prolonged vomiting (more than 12 hours) is not normal - Call the doctor immediately
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Yep, I'm up 1/2 pound. Why? That is the zillion dollar question. I reviewed what I have been eating and 1 chocolate sundae is not going to make or break an entire week. If I average what I am eating, I am at 1,000-1,100 calories per day. Limited exercise. Water intake good. Overall, not the explanation.
So, the next question is where I am in my cycle. Another reason for my blog because I don't know! Here is how my body works though - assuming a normal 4 week cycle - 1&2 can see weightloss, week 3 - forget it, week 4 - depends. I am *guessing* based on my recollection of my last period that I might be in week 3.
Am I rationalizing the weight gain? Maybe, but overall when I add up calories and basal metabolic rate, the math does not add up to extra calories in what I have consumed. I am not going to worry about it. Yeah right, it is so easy to put that here, but in reality it is harder. But that is what I am going to do and see what the scale says next week and if I get my period.
The good news is that I officially start Stage 3 of the post op diet. Essentially, I can eat pretty much anything, I am just supposed to introduce things slowly and of course follow the rules. (Want more detail on Stage 3? Do a search of my blog and the post will come up.)
I have to say that I am a little down about the scale, but I still have a 23 pound loss and need to remember that.
My appetite has really fluctuated. In the morning, I am not really very hungry. I have a venti, decaf, non-fat, 3 Equal latte (say that 3 times fast!) to start the morning and to get in my calcium for the day. (200 calories) I am pretty much OK until lunch. Lunch is when I am hungriest--- not so much so that I think I need to add something to my latte, just seems to be the hungriest time of the day. My portions are much larger than what I was having since banding, yet smaller than what I was pre-band. Then at dinner, the hunger is more than the morning, but less than lunch time.
Do I think I need a fill? Yes - I am eating less, but getting hungry between meals (much of my success is plain old stubborness - some say will power - that is getting me through) and I am not seeing the weight loss that I should be. So, I will be going forward with my fill next week. Why am I even putting this here? Well, after banding I was told to make the appointment, but if I was losing weight and not hungry between meals, then I could cancel the appointment.
And of course I need to be exercising, but I am still letting my port heal in place -- don't want the stupid thing to flip -- and am waiting the 6 weeks per the doctor's office for how long it takes to fully heal. Then, back to aerobics for me!
23 pounds down (weigh in on Wednesday - up .5)
Hunger - increased from earlier post banding weeks
4 weeks post op (I am going to quit tracking this at 6 weeks)
Diet - Phase/Stage 3
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Yep, you read the title correctly, I had a chocolate sundae. Why? I wanted it. I did everything in my power to avoid, deflect, and plain tough it out, but in the end the sundae won. But did it? It was small, I enjoyed it, and I didn't eat it all. I ate it and moved on. Did it taste as good as I thought it was going to? Was it worth it? A definite yes on both accounts. So, in the end - the sundae did not win. I made a choice to eat it and enjoyed every single stinking bite!
I have been eating more things that are not on my current phase. I chew well and try to eat slowly, but have found they make me fuller. This is good, but the bad part is I have not quite figured out how to determine when I am full. I have not PB'd or anything like that --- probably because I haven't had a fill, but on a couple occasions as time went on I could tell I had eaten too much. What is weird is that I get this weird sensation in my port area. Hard to describe and not anything I have read on the boards, but it seems to be what happens to me.
I MUST do better---eat slower and measure my food to ensure that I am not eating too much. What am I doing well? I get in all my liquids, eating less, and am conscious of the food choices I am making (like the sundae).
I am not weighing myself until Wednesday. I can tell you that even though I have lost over 20lbs. clothes still SUCK! I went Christmas shopping and tried on some things and didn't end up getting anything as I resembled a stuffed sausage. It is somewhat disappointing as it *seems* that dropping that much weight should have more impact on clothes...I know that exercising will help with this. In January, it will have been 6 weeks and I will resume going to Jazzercise.
23.5 pounds down (weigh in on Wednesday)
Hunger - normal - Choice made to have sundae
No restriction? Maybe I have some because I can't eat as much as I used to???
25 days post op
Diet - Phase 2 mushies - Phase 3 officially starts on Wednesday
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Well, I was supposed to have my post-op checkup today. It has been three weeks since my surgery. But I live in Texas and there is an ice/sleet storm and it is freezing! I called the doctor's office to see if I could get my appointment moved to an earlier time or moved to another day. Turns out they were going to be calling all the follow-up people anyway because of the weather. They asked me how I was doing/feeling, told them I was fine and they said I don't have to come in! So, I guess that was my follow-up. HA!
Wednesdays are going to be my official weigh-in day. Made that decision today and made up a spreadsheet for tracking my weight LOSS. Key being loss. So, officially as of today on my scale - which will be the 'real' scale. Especially since I can weigh first thing in the morning and in the buff. Who wants any extra weight, right? 210.5 today!!! That is 23.5lbs down.
My official starting weight is the weight that I weighed in on during my official first appointment for evaluation. So the loss includes the bit I lost during the pre-op diet. It was weightloss, so I am counting it in the grand total. So the timespan is 6 weeks today. That's an average of 3.9lbs/week. I know it won't stay at this pace, but I am going to take advantage of it while I can.
23.5 pounds down
Hunger - normal - but hungrier today. Had to have a snack.
No restriction? Maybe I have some because I can't eat as much as I used to???
21 days post op
Diet - Phase 2 mushies - Last week! Then Phase 3
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Yep! Finally after eating next to nothing the scale finally moved. I weighed in at 211.5! Very exciting. Especially considering today is my birthday. Best present I received. :)
I haven't been exercising much (supposed to walk 30 mins a day), so that could be a contributing factor. I am not one for individual exercise and much prefer group exercise like aerobics. I'm not cleared to do that yet, but think I will be this week...I'll find out on Dec 7---the follow-up with the surgeon.
Well my diet is officially Phase 2 - All of Phase 1 'stuff' plus:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Blenderized Soup
- Soup with noodles
- Cottage Cheese
- Cream of Wheat
I haven't been doing so well on the diet. I have had a few things here and there that are not on the list. The usual reason: I feel fine and it goes down fine. It has been soups that have 'stuff' in them that haven't been blenderized. Bad, bad...
I can tell that the band is dimming my hunger. There have been a couple times that I have eaten more than a cup of food and have paid for it later by feeling very full....eating too dang fast. This is going to be the ongoing challenge for me. Slooooooooooowing down. As I said, about 1 cup of food fills me up and sticks with me for the most part until the next meal. Overall, I am very satisfied with my band.
22.5 pounds down
Hunger - normal - just at meal time
No restriction? Maybe I have some because I can't eat as much as I used to???
19 days post op
Diet - Phase 2 mushies
Monday, November 28, 2005
Well, I am happy to report that my first day back at work was uneventful. Lunch was difficult because I am seriously getting hungry. Wednesday is soft mushies. The countdown continues. I'm looking forward to some potatoes and oatmeal! YUM!
Found that the 'goo' on the steri-strips has gotten softened up from showers and wearing clothes. Was able to rub off a bunch of it without having to use something of it afterall.
I was down another pound today, but not counting it yet. I need to commit to a weigh in day and only weigh in once a week. I think Monday or Friday, but then again, Tuesday or Wednesday sounds good as well. LOL. Need to just pick one to keep myself off the scale. (Oh, I think I was stalling on my weight loss 'cause it was that time of the month. Will have to see.)
2 Shakes (better - yeah me)
Coffee with 1 serving milk
Jellied cranberry sauce
20 pounds down (1 more pound down, but not believing it)
12 days post op
1 day to mushies!!!
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Luckily I was able to take a week and 1/2 off from work. I don't think I needed it and could have gone back earlier, but regardless I think it was good for the overall healing process.
My sticky stuff - steri-strips? - are off my incisions. The icky glue stuff is still on there. It is powerful stuff that I can't seem to get off with lightly rubbing and using some mild soap. Since the strips were supposed to stay on for three weeks --- sigh, I did help them along a bit --- they itched like all get out, I am just going to leave the goo where it is. I read that nail polish remover will take it off, but I'm not putting that anywhere near my incisions! I think at 3 weeks if it hasn't worn off on its own, I'll use some rubbing alcohol.
The incisions themselves have healed very nicely! I don't think any of them will be noticeable once they are fully healed and I am in bikini shape. That will give them plenty of time to lighten up as well. Yes, a bikini is in my future again!
Well not much to report. Just been taking it easy and eating what I'm supposed to even though I swear I could move on to the next stage of the diet. Just not going to do it. Patience is key.
If I can just get past the worry over my port. I guess I could call tomorrow, but might as well just wait until my check-up with the surgeon.
20 pounds down (still)
Not as hungry today
11 days post op
2 days to mushies
Saturday, November 26, 2005
How is it possible that I am eating hardly anything and not losing weight anymore? It just isn't fair. Plus I am getting to the point that eating my arm off sounds good! Still on Phase 1 of the diet - by the way - I have put all the phases in my blog - you can search for them if you want.
I am still wondering if I did something to my port. I certainly hope not as I am hoping to start Jazzercise right after I see the doc of December 7.
In an effort to find things to do to keep myself away from food, I've gotten all my Christmas cards done, picked up around the house, and started knitting a baby blanket for my friend that is having a baby. The knitting is really helping out. Only 3 more days to soft mushies. Who would have thunk it that I would be looking forward to blended soups, oatmeal, and cream of wheat?
20 pounds down
Really hungry for real food
10 days post op
3 days til mushes
Friday, November 25, 2005
I am sitting here after just coming back from the store. I needed to pick up milk for my yummy shakes. While I was there, I ended up getting some sugar-free pudding mix (OK on this stage of diet), soup (for the next stage), and some cheeze whiz also for the next stage (I thought I'd use it as a flavoring).
The problem is, I came home and was hungry. I opened a can of Spaghetti O's and put the can in two containers. I had two teaspoons and then stopped myself. One, because it isn't on this stage of the diet and two, I just can't decide if I am hungry or I am bored.
So, let's review what I've eaten today: 1 shake (supposed to have three - not good); 1 venti latte -- two cups of milk; mushroom soup - 1 cup; coffee; two popsicles; and the two teaspoons of Spaghetti O's; and yogurt.
Stopped and moved on to another thing. Even if it is writing about eating. HA! I don't think I'm really hungry. If I am still wanting something to eat in 30 mins, then I will have applesauce (on diet). In the meantime, I will watch TV and drink some coffee.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
- Chew all foods very well and appreciate the taste. Take your time, don't rush
- Start with a small, planned amount of food. Wait at least 20 minutes before thinking of adding something else to your plate
- Eat meals and snacks on time. Hunger drives an uncontrolled appetite
- Don't drink 30 minutes before or after a meal. Never drink during a meal
- Eat without distraction. Tension or excitement may cause you to eat too fast or forget to chew
- No heavy lifting (nothing greater than 15 lbs) or strenuous exercise for two weeks
- Call if you have a fever of 101 or higher
- You may shower daily - no tub baths for 1 week. Do not scrub incisions for 3 weeks (Call if redness or drainage from incisions occurs)
- Remove bandaids in 2 days. Leave white steri-strips alonge. They will fall off on their own or you may remove them after 2 weeks
- Use incentive spirometry bottle 4 times daily for 7 days
- Walk daily until you can walk 30 minutes at a time
- Increased gas is common for the first 3-6 weeks. Gas-X is recommended or Di-Gel. These should be in liquid form.
- Do not take any anti-inflammatory pain medications unless approved by doctor (e.g., ibuprofen, advil, motrin, naprosyn, aleve, daypro)
- You may take liquid tylenol or liquid advil. All pills larger than a baby aspirin must be crushed or cut into small pieces prior to ingestion. Take only one small peice of a pill at a time. Be sure that it goes through your band prior to taking another one. DO NOT take a handful of pills all at one time - they will plug your band. Capsules must be opened and taken in liquid or a small amount of food. Check with your primary doctor or pharmacist to be sure that your capsules can be taken this way.
- Take chewable Flintstone or chewable Centrum vitamins daily.
- Soft fruit (banana, melon, strawberries)
- Cooked vegetables and fresh green vegetables
- Soft pasta (well cooked)
- Toast or Crackers
Gradually add regular foods and remember
- Eat only at set meal times
- NO LIQUIDS with meanls for 30-45 mins afterward
- Avoid cheap calorites (fat, high calorie liquid, sweets, ice cream, junk food, cookies, etc.)
- Protein supplements 1 a day for 1 month
- 3 meals per day with a liquid protein supplement twice daily between meals.
- NO liquids with meals if soft food is included. You must wait 30-45 minutes for the pouch to empty before drinking.
- CHEW WELL - the food must be almost liquified before swallowing
Full Liquid Diet
- Mashed Potatoes
- Blenderized Soup
- Soup with noodles
- Cottage Cheese
- Cream of Wheat
Stage 1 - First two weeks post-op
- Liquids only from list below 3 times daily at set times
- Liquid protein supplements 3 times daily between meals and bedtime
NOTE: Most people can only drink 1 protein drink per day the first 2-3 days due to swelling. Remember: small amounts (4-6 oz)
- Go slowly - 30 minutes to drink 6 oz
- When you feel full stop
- NO CARBONATED DRINKS
- fruit juice (no orange or grapefruit),
- crystal light,
- sugar free koolaid,
- protein drinks,
- skim milk or lactaid,
- sugar free jello,
- sugar free popsicles,
- low-fat yogurt,
- sugar free pudding,
- applesauce or baby food fruit
I'm staying home for Thanksgiving. Supposed to go see a movie later with a friend. There was just no way that I could be around a bunch of food. I'm just too hungry and of course my body is saying it can eat anything, but I'm not supposed to. Week 2 of liquids for me.
Started this morning with a protein shake. I need to make sure I get the three shakes in that I'm supposed to. Have been only getting in two a day. Overall probably not a good idea, but a week of anything won't kill a person.
Had a weird feeling last night. I have been having pain in the port area which is normal. During the night I will stretch. Well as usual I stretched while I was sleeping and it woke me up because of the pain in my port area. Later in the night I did it again ---- it is something I do involuntary when I sleep. Well this morning I don't have any pain in the port area. Of course I am now paranoid and am convinced that I have stretched the port free of its stitches...I am telling myself that it is highly improbable and am going to speak to my surgeon when I have my follow-up on December 7.
Still holding steady at 20 pounds. Of course, I'm human and it pisses me off. Especially since I went for a 3 mile walk yesterday and not eating practically anything. Oh well, I just need to be patient and remember that it will eventually come off.
Haven't exercised yet today. Need to do that later today. I'll report back in later...
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I realized when I was skimming through my blog that I didn't mention my new best friend. My heating pad! The referred pain in the left shoulder is not a myth. Walking helps, but I also found at times that it would temporarily make it worse. To deal with it, I used my heating pad on my back and wrapped around my left shoulder. HEAVEN! Just a little tidbit I thought I'd put here just in case people who are thinking about or newly banded are actually reading this thing!
I kept forgetting to comment about sleeping since having the surgery. I found it easiest to sleep on my back at first. To keep myself from rolling to my side, I put a pillow on my stomach under the blankets. I found this served two purposes - 1 - kept me on my back; and 2 - if I had to cough or sneeze I had the pillow already on my stomach for added support.
How am I sleeping now that it is a week later? Well, I should first say that I had no problem sleeping since the surgery. I guess some people do. I am now sleeping on my side and found that I even am sleeping on my stomach. (I wake up and find myself on my tummy.) Guess you can say things are going well...
The incisions look good. Just a little bruised around them. They have been starting to itch recently though. I am taking this as a sign of healing because there is no bleeding or oozing from the incisions.
There are 5 incisions total. The incision for the port is the largest. I would estimate that it is about an inch long. I think this one, for me, will be the most noticeable. Not because of the size, but it looks like it has separated a bit and I think that will leave a bigger scar. This incision is located on the left side about 3 fingers below the rib cage.
The other 4 incisions are the tool holes. That's what I like to call them. I would estimate that they are 1/2 inch in length each. the first one is right below the sternum. There is another one about 2 inches directly below that one. The third is located in the middle of incision 1 and 2 but about 2 inches to the left (I am looking down at myself for orientation.) The last incision is to the right and it is inline with incision 2, but about 2 inches to the right. Kinda complex, but if you're interested in the locations, this should help.
Week 2 post-op is still liquids...surviving it, but will be glad to be on soft mushies in a week. Have found that tomato soup is yummy to my tummy and am thinking about going to get some cream of mushroom and cream of chicken to have tomorrow for Thanksgiving. That's it for now...
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
That was what I was thinking. I have been walking 30 minutes a day since the surgery. So, I figured that I wasn't feeling 'into it' today and was going to skip it.
I continued to think about this and started wondering who was I really hurting? Well, me of course. It didn't matter to anyone outside of me whether I walked my 30 minutes, but if I didn't it had impact on me. 1 - I'd feel guilty; 2 - It is part of my post-op recovery goals; 3 - It will help me get to where I want to be.
So, I can proudly state that I went ahead and walked the 30 mins and even did it faster than I had been. Yeah me!!!
6 days post op (tomorrow is a week!!)...down 20 pounds...
Monday, November 21, 2005
Just reporting in, in case people are reading. I continue to feel better every day. The hunger has been tolerable and so has the pain. I am walking 30 mins a day and using the heating pad on my back/shoulder as needed for the referred shoulder pain.
Still no problems with drinking the lovely liquid phase. Don't think I have any restriction. Not worrying about that though. It will come with the fills. Scheduled my first fill for Dec 21. The check-up with the surgeon is Dec 7.
Oh yeah, down 19 pounds now. Will eventually update the tracker at the bottom...
Saturday, November 19, 2005
So, I have gone back and forth on my starting weight. My official weigh in at the doctor put me at 234. I didn't weigh on my scale before that 'cause I just didn't really want to know how much I weighed! lol...anyway, I am using this as my official starting weight.
I lost 9 lbs. on the pre-op and the remainder I have lost since surgery. No surprise there since you are starved to death. Unlucky for me, I am one of those that is actually feeling hunger post-op. I read on the boards that many people went for a couple weeks on the liquid phase without feeling any hunger. Lucky for them! *sigh*
Goal weight - there is another dilemma. The doc said 149. Well, hell I don't wanna weigh 149 at the end of this (said in whiny tantrum voice). I'd rather weigh 139 or 136. Either one will work. I had put my goal weight at 136 on here before I met with the surgeon. I am going to leave it like that and see what I look like when I get to 149. He did say that was the high end of healthy weight and had no problem with me lowering the goal if I wanted to. Who knows? Too early to tell.
Man oh man am I hungry today!!! I did not have an appetite at all for two days, but this third day has been a killer. I am wondering if I can have tomato soup, but since I'm not sure I have refrained. I did find some sugar free vanilla creamer that I am WAY excited about. I am drinking my coffee with it and it has been doing a lot for the hunger pains.
My port area is sore, but the rest of the areas are pretty good. I think I am right on track. The gas has been going down day by day. I have also been walking 30 minutes like I was asked to do. Going very slowly, but walking 30 minutes none the less.
The respiratory therapy thing has been a pain in the butt. I am supposed to do it every waking hour once per hour for 7 days. I can honestly say I have been dropping the ball on this one. It is supposed to prevent pneumonia from the anethesia, etc.
All is well. 3 days pre-op...
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Yep, it is finally here. Day of surgery. Here's the day...
Went to the surgery center this morning at 7:30. Signed a ton of papers and then sat for about 5 mins. Then my name was called and it was back to get ready. The first shocker was I had to strip down TOTALLY! No panties, no nothing. I guess I figured I'd get to keep my panties on. Peed in a cup and then off to the pre-op room.
My best friend went with me and she was in there with me. Rounds of the usual questions, by the usual suspects and in went the IV. Had to have the IV in my hand rather than my arm because there weren't any good veins. This wasn't a big deal to me until a bit later which I'll get to. Dr. B came in and said howdy do and wanted to know if I had any last minute questions. Nope. Good to go. Then the sleep guy - can't spell the anathesiologist???---asked him how he knew I'd be asleep 'cause I had seen an episode on Nip/Tuck and was concerned that I'd be asleep and imobile and would feel things. Stupid, I know. Just wanted to be sure. He put some juice into my IV and headed out. Oh yeah, had to remind everyone that I wanted the small port 'cause Dr. B asked me to, so nobody would forget.
I laid there and started to feel drunk. After that I don't remember anything. I woke up and everything was done. The nurse told me that I had asked if my best friend had given me a hug -- we have a thing that when either of us have surgery you have to give each other a hug. She had of course, I just couldn't remember. We gotta a good laugh out of that.
So no pain --- drugs of course --- just felt some pressure. Got up and started walking around...and around and around. Seriously, I was up and moving. Felt fine. The nurse was surprised and said it was like I didn't even have surgery.
Then over to the x-ray place. Drank the yummy barium stuff and they checked out 'Ben' -- that's what I named my band. Everything checked out fine. Then back over to home base and was able to start sipping water. YUM! Gooooood water. Then more walking. It just felt better to walk then it did to sit down. Had to pee again so that I could get dressed. Regulation. No problem, if I could get dressed, I was all about that.
Got dressed. Had a swallow of some pain medication that I am supposed to take and was off again. More walking. 30 minutes later I was out the door. Piece of cake.
The surgery was uneventful. Thank goodness. Guess I'll have to start counting post-op days as that will be important for the diet. Today is day 0...
That is the question. I met with Dr. B who was really nice and spoke to him about which port to use. Most people get the regular port and then if they want have another surgery to put in the smaller port.
Why? Depending on how you are built, how much weight you lose, etc. it is possible that the port will be visible. Since I AM going to be losing all of my weight and I AM going to be wearing a bikini, I decided why wait (ha wait, get it?) and just get it put in from the get go. It is my understanding that some people aren't able to get the small port (I think it is referred to as low profile) if they have a ton of weight to lose,etc. Guess it is harder to locate.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Who woulda thought? There are some really good meatless products out there! Over the weekend I had smoked sausage and tonight for dinner I had this spicy chicken. What is it you might ask? Well, let me go get the package...They are Boca products. I got them at Walmart. The added bonus is I swear they are going to be band-friendly eats. Excellent news!
Well, tomorrow is pre-op with Dr Benavides, my surgeon. I am sooo glad the surgery will soon be here, so I can get on with band hell. That is what people on the boards call the 4-6 weeks until your first fill. Mainly it is the post-op diet and feeling hungry. I figure if I have made it past Myohell, I can just ease on to Band Hell. lol Trading one hell for another.
Since the surgery is Wednesday, I am going with 1 day 'til surgery...I'll write again tomorrow to report anything from the appointment with Dr. B...
Saturday, November 12, 2005
That's what I call my current clothes and I'm sick of it!!! I am going to the movies with my gay friend and his boyfriend. They fit the stereotype in that they are always well dressed. Don't get me wrong, I wear nice clothes and they look fine. It is just they are so frickin' big, 'cause I am. Yes, I am having a clothes attack. I have been trying to figure out what I am going to wear and keep coming back to a t-shirt and athletic pants. Not Nice! Not even tent and awning quality. Why am I writing this? So that I can come back and read how this felt and how much I hated it to make sure I don't return to this point!
I continue to read the boards and stay on the pre-op diet. Skinny liver here I come! It has to have shrunk as today is day 14 on the diet (I decided to start it right away).
Holding steady at the 8.5 pounds. Hoping that I might drop another pound or two before surgery. Have been walking. Today two miles. (Way to go me!)
4 more days 'til surgery...
Thursday, November 10, 2005
6 days to surgery. Or is it 5? I can't figure out if I should count the actual day of the surgery or not. Regardless, I am getting closer.
The pre-op diet continues. Myohell sucks the big one. I have been drinking other protein shakes in the place of it. It is so bad to me that I practically start gagging at the smell. Anyway, enough Myohell for me!
I can't remember what the scale said this morning, but I think I was 8.5 pounds down. Pretty cool. I better have one skinny liver by the time of my surgery! At least there is something to say for drinking that crap. I have also found that it has destroyed my appetite. That is also good. I have not felt the least bit hungry or deprived.
(Just in case anyone is reading this and wondering 'how long did it take to lose that', it has been 12 days.)
I would have thought that my clothes would be a bit looser, but to be honest they were so tight it would be hard to tell. Sad, but true.
6 days til surgery...
Monday, November 07, 2005
I attended one of the chats on the boards tonight. I honestly feel much better. There were many people on that confirmed what I had suspected --- the people that are successful are out living their life rather than be on the boards, so I'm not hearing the positive only the negative.
The stats show that the things I'm worried about are possible, but not likely. If I stay within the tolerance of the band (no throwing up), I won't have a slip. Does this mean I have to be perfect all the time? No, it simply means that I need to stop eating whatever it is when I am full. AND don't forget the eating slowly. This will be my biggest challenge as I am a fast eater.
Got an email from my dad today. As a general rule, I don't speak to him. Long boring drama-filled story. He wanted to know if I would come home for Thanksgiving. Well, definitely not happening this year because I am having the surgery and not telling anyone in my family. They just wouldn't understand and I don't want to listen to them. Therefore, not telling them. Digressing --- it's not so much a point about the invite here, but I guess that I have made a decision to not tell my family. Therefore, no visits home for me until after the band is in place and I am adjusted to it. Maybe next year for a visit...
Well, I continue to read, read, read on this band. The frustrating thing is that the documentation that I find is not consistent. Get this - I was given a bunch of information from my surgeon, well I went and looked on my doc's website and it turns out it doesn't even match to what I was given! Very frustrating. You can try to make an informed decision, but I guess you have to figure out what information you use to get informed.
I continue to troll or 'lurk' on the message boards. Today there was another person that suffers from erosion. I guess it is a 3 in 100 chance to have the complication. Serious stuff.
Then the new item I am mulling around today. For one year I am covered for all adjustments for free. After that I have to pay. Trying to figure out if once a year is enough for a check-up or if two a year makes more sense to make sure everything is going OK. Can't find this information anywhere. My list of questions for the surgeon continues to grow. The poor guy isn't gonna know what hit him!
Got up this morning and went for a walk again! Yeah me. Didn't do the full 3 miles because it takes too much time, but figure I did do 2 miles. 2 more than I usually do. Stating the obvious - I'm outta shape. I can feel it in my quads. Pathetic. Oh well, gotta start somewhere. Again. My plan is to continue with the walking and do that during recovery. Then, when cleared, add in aerobics.
Man, I wish I could find someone else that is like me (30's, single, etc.) that is going through or considering this to be my buddy...Anybody out there?
Didn't weigh today...
Ate pre-op diet...
Walked approx. 2 miles for exercise...
9 days til surgery...
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Yes, I am having one of those days again. It seems like everyone has a slip and some have had erosion. The erosion concerns me because it could take years to happen. It doesn't seem that the band has been around long enough to really know what happens long term. What will happen 10-20+ years down the road?
Oh my goodness! Should I or shouldn't I??? What will my life be like after having this done? By life, I mean eating, etc. Not my 'life' life. My life itself will be exactly the same it is now unless I do something to change it. Changing my life doesn't involve the band. The band is only a TOOL to keep the weight off. It is also not a magic bullet. I will still have to work at it, exercise, etc. Is it worth the risks?
So, guess what I did today? I went for a 3-mile walk. Yep, wasn't going to be focusing on exercise yet (focusing on the pre-op diet), but woke up this morning with not much to do so I went ahead put my shoes on and there I went. Wasn't too bad. Might even go again tomorrow. I'll see how I feel.
10 days til surgery...
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Yep, that was what I was wondering when I was trying to put some clothes on that I swore would fit. Turns out they didn't and I am much bigger than I thought. *sigh* Here's the ironic thing - when I am fat I think I am smaller than I am and when I am thinner I think I am bigger than I am. A definite problem I am going to have to work on.
There are only 11 days until the surgery. I keep eating the protein meal and shakes. It's not the best, but I am surviving it. As of this morning, I am down 7 pounds. That takes my total left to lose to 87. Huh, isn't that the weight of like a 5th grader? lol...when I get the weight off, I'm going to have to find someone with a kid that weighs 94 pounds so I can visualize how much weight I lost. Might even be a funny after picture.
Speaking of pictures, I need to take a before picture. I seriously doubt if I lose 10 pounds or so that it will make a difference 'cause I need someone to take it for me so it is a full body shot. My best friend will be staying here the night before the surgery (did I say 11 days away? hee hee) and I will have her take one then. Oh joy! I love pictures. Not...
11 days to surgery...
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Yup. I'm scared...am I making the right decision? I don't know! I have been going back and forth and back and forth and today is really bad. I keep reading the Yahoo! groups and hearing about re-surgeries, bad fills, leaks, slips, etc. Am I just freaking myself out??? I'm having a day where I think I can do it on my own and I don't need the stinkin' band, but then the other side of me is going "hello, you can lose the weight, but you won't be able to keep it off". I'm getting the band as a tool to help me keep the weight off. I need to focus on that and see if I can get my mind wrapped around (ha) the idea again. Dang it, I wish the surgery wasn't so far off.
14 days to surgery...
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Well, I spoke to soon. I gagged on the shake this morning. No worries though, I am going to get something else prior to surgery. Like I said, I'm too cheap not to finish the Myohell.
On the positive side, this shake drinking and eating sparingly and no fat (I figure I am consuming between 1100-1200 calories) I am down 5 lbs. Probably water weight, but I'll take whatever I can get. This seems to be good practice though for the band since there won't be any restriction - If I can make it now, I can make it then.
I can do anything for 18 days (that will get me to surgery day) --- heck, 3 days down already ---and I can sure as heck do what I have to do after that. And so can everyone!!! It's belief in one's self that you can succeed and this time I WILL succeed. Baby steps for me, make it to surgery, make it through post-op diet, make it to first fill, etc...One step at a time...
15 days to surgery...
Monday, October 31, 2005
Yep, I think I am turning into a chicken. Chicken and green beans three days in a row. Yes, I could be more inventive, but I'll be honest I am just plain lazy! The good news of the day is that I found a way to drink the Myocel (someone on one of the boards called it Myohell). I mix it with a cup of non-fat milk and 3 teaspoons of frozen strawberries. Much, much better.
Have been doing great with the pre-op diet. Need to keep on keeping on. I think I am in the swing of it and am now going to add focusing on my liquid intake. Not drinking enough. Might as well get in the habit now --- one less thing to deal with after the surgery.
I actually forgot it was Halloween. Lucky for me, I don't have to participate in trick-or-treating. My porch light will remain off and I will stay cacooned in my nice warm blanky on the couch.
Do you like the pictures? I am going to try to continue to use new ones and not repeat. I added a counter and unfortunately it is somewhat depressing because there isn't anyone reading my blog! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Oh well, I will just keep plugging away and keeping it up to date. I think it will be interesting to look back on it a year from now.
I stepped on the scale this morning and had lost a few pounds. Believe it or not, I can't remember how many? That is kinda funny to me. I'll weigh again tomorrow 'cause I don't want to report the wrong thing.
16 days until surgery...
Sunday, October 30, 2005
OK, anyone that says Myocel tastes good is lying! That is the shake product that my surgeon has me on for anyone that doesn't know. The office recommend that I get the vanilla over the chocolate because 'you can do more with it'. Uh, hello? Do more with it? It tastes NASTY!!! I have put coffee in it (instant granules) to help cover the taste, berries, and anything else I can come up with. It comes down to choking it down. This is OK now that I don't have the band, but when I have the band, I'm sure the intent is that you sip your DELICIOUS shake. So, I'm going to have to ask them if I can buy one that I can stand. This bucket of *stuff* cost me 40 bucks, so I will continue to choke it down and ask about a replacement at my pre-op appointment.
I am only focusing on the pre-op diet right now and nothing else (like exercise). Although I have been doing more to keep my mind off the hunger. Planting and cleaning was on the agenda for me today.
Chicken and green beans for dinner again tonight.
17 days until surgery.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
All tests are done. *Passed* them all, so I got a surgery date! The date of my surgery is November 16. I have a pre-op with the surgeon the day before. I have managed to freak myself out numerous times by reading a lot of information (mainly Yahoo! groups) that makes me wonder if I am making the right decision. *sigh*
I can lose the weight. I just can't keep it off. On top of it, everytime I put weight back on, I put on more! At the rate I'm going, I could end up being 300 pounds. So, at least today, I am going forward with the surgery.
I started the pre-surgery diet today -- a couple days early. I was supposed to start on Tuesday, but I decided I better start of the weekend, so I could adjust. Let me tell you the pre-op shakes are disgusting! I don't care what anyone says, I hate it. So, I just plug my nose and drink. I'm not sure that I buy into the hype of the myocel product that I was asked to use, so I also went and got some protein powder from Wal-mart. It tastes a tad bit better.
So, for today I have had two shakes, a chicken breast, and a can of beans. I will likely have some SF jello later this evening. I am hoping to lose 10 pounds before I have the surgery.
18 days to surgery....
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Well, no surprise, but I was approved for lap band pending a bunch of tests. Comprehensive blood work out, sleep study, psych release, and a stress test. I think that is all of them. Luckily I hadn't eaten anything before the appointment, so I was able to go and do the blood work right away on Friday. The sleep study I signed up for Saturday night---more about that in a minute. Left a voicemail for the shrink on the psych release and scheduled the stress test for Wednesday.
So, back to the lovely sleep study. I put on one of the zillion forms that I filled out that I had started snoring. I didn't think much of it at the time 'cause what is the big deal. I figured it is a combination of allergies and being fat. Well, at the consultation they asked me a bunch of questions and at the end up it I was told that I had to have a sleep study.
Talk about wires! My best count is that there were about 25 wires attached to me! It took forever, but the good thing that by the time they were done I was actually ready to go to sleep. So, I slept and they woke me up at 6am. Unhooked me and I was on my way home. How'd it go? Who knows. I think I slept fine, but I'll have to find out for sure at another appointment.
That's the excitement from here. Over and out.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
OK, so I started the Oprah book last night. I did end up reading 100 pages before I put it down. I think it is very good, but not so sure that I would HAVE to stay up all night to finish it, but it could still happen. I'll let you know.
Tomorrow is the big day! Consultation with the lap band doctor. I'm excited and I'm scared at the same time.
Friday night is such a good night on TV! So many shows to watch. Survivor is my favorite. Just a short one today. I hope everyone is enjoying my pics.
Over and out
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Exercise for me ebbs and flows. When I'm doing it, I'm doing it and consistently doing it. When I'm not, I'm consistently not doing it. At least I'm consistent, right? ;)
I honestly have been too depressed to even move my fat ass lately other than what I have to do. Definitely not a good sign. I have made some small changes though that I have realized without 'forcing' myself to do so. I am no longer drinking soda and am drinking tea, water, or sugar-free Koolaid; I am consistently eating breakfast; and I am not eating in front of the TV. Baby steps - that's what it is all about.
Have the consultation on Friday and filled out the zillion pages of documentation today. It was somewhat funny when I got to the page on all the diets I have been on. There were only a couple that I haven't tried. Could either make a person laugh or cry. I decided to laugh. What is my problem? You might be thinking/asking? Well, I can take the weight off like no tomorrow! My problem is keeping it off. When I am focused 100% (dieting) things go well. I even keep the weight off for a while, but what happens is the focus diminishes because I have lost the weight and for some reason I don't have a good internal 'you're full' button. This is what the lap band --- which is only another tool --- brings to the table.
Believe me - the whole thing still scares the poop outta me, but I have done the research and talked to many people that have had it done. I plan to keep an open mind until I have my consultation on Friday. That's it for now. I am going to go read Oprah's new book club "A million pieces" which is supposedly so good that once you start reading it you can't put it down. I'll report back on that. (I did find it at Sam's club for under 8 bucks if anyone is interested.)
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Yep, that is what the shrink said about the lap band. I was scared. I thought they might say that they weren't going to support it. Guess there is all around agreement that I'm fat! In this case, it is a good thing. The shrink said that it is likely that the medication will go down over time because of weight loss. I was thinking hell ya it is going down 'cause this will assist with one of the contributing factors to my depression!
Next step: the consultation on Friday with the lap band doctor. I need to get the paperwork finished. There is quite a lot of it. Assuming things go like I plan they will---I'm a good candidate. The next step will be to schedule the surgery and the special pre-surgery diet. I call it the liver diet. No, you don't eat liver, but I will be drinking this stuff that is good for shrinking my liver. They need the liver to be as small as possible to prevent bruising to it when they do the laproscopic surgery.
I have to say that I go back and forth and back and forth on this. It is very scary. Thinking: is it the right thing to do, what if something goes wrong, etc. Which brings me to another thing--I am not planning on telling anyone. I do not want to hear about how stupid it is, shouldn't do it, just get my fat ass in gear, etc. Been there, done that. I spend plenty of my time in inner debate about these things without a bunch of people commenting.
I did tell my best friend though. I had to tell someone 'cause someone has to pick you up from the surgery. Well that's it for now.
Monday, October 10, 2005
I called the place today about the lap band surgery. Asked about the financing -- since my insurance doesn't cover it. Can finance it, but it costs an extra $1,000 to do that. Not sure why, but that was what I looked in to. Called the number and ended up getting approved within an hour. This wasn't really the plan as I don't have the consultation until Friday, but who knew?!
So, on Wednesday I meet with the shrink. Will have to bring up the lap band option and see what it said about that. I have to list the medications I take on the intake form and the shrink. I am hoping that it is not an issue, but who knows. Guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Fluffy, fat, overweight, obese...all ugly ugly words! I have got to do something about my weight. It is truly out of control. Some days I care and other days I don't. Is my depression a contributing factor or am I depressed because I am so fat??? I think I am depressed because I am so fat.
Oh yeah, I know what you are thinking. So do something about it! I have. I have been on every diet known to man. You name it, I've been on it. Did I lose weight? Sure did on every single one of them. The problem - the weight does not stay off. Just stop eating? Easier said than done. There is something wrong with my 'full button' plus I also know that I use food as my drug of choice.
So, what am I going to do? I am considering a drastic decision and contemplating lapband surgery. I'm not even sure that I will qualify for it. Isn't that hilarious? I might not be fat enough! Then there is also the cost ($15K) which I will have to pay myself because it is not covered by insurance. But if I am a good candidate the expense will be worth every penny. I am going to call and speak to them tomorrow about the cost and setting up a consultation.
Then again, I started this blog deal and am wondering if I could do it myself. Today I feel like I can. Don't know about tomorrow. It's the long-term that wears me out. Getting the weight off, but then not being able to keep it off. Who knows?
I want the days back that I could wear whatever I wanted and it was more a question of what I was going to wear rather than what can I fit into. Currently what I can fit into is a very few select items. That also stresses me out 'cause I know people are noticing how much weight I am putting on and also likely that there are only a few things that I keep wearing. Who cares, right? It just makes me feel self-conscious.
This weekend I didn't get out of bed except for a total of 10 hours. That would be on the high end. I'm not eating much so the weight is steady. The depression right now is bad. I am on medication, but it doesn't seem to be working. I'll speak to the doctor this week at my appointment. Although, I know it is the weight. I'll have to consider asking about the lapband surgery too. It would make me mad though if they said that they would not approve it because of the depression---because I'd be paying for it myself.