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.)

Ate Today:
2 Shakes (better - yeah me)
Coffee with 1 serving milk
Beef broth
Jellied cranberry sauce
2 applesauce
Chicken broth

20 pounds down (1 more pound down, but not believing it)
Hunger manageable
No restriction
12 days post op
1 day to mushies!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Back to work...

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
No restriction
11 days post op
2 days to mushies

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Arrrrrrrghhhhhhhhh! Still 20 Pounds?!!

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
No restriction
10 days post op
3 days til mushes

Ate today:
2 shakes
2 applesauce
Cranberry jelly
Tomato soup

Friday, November 25, 2005

Hungry or Bored? Or What?

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

Golden Rules

  • 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

Discharge Instructions

  1. No heavy lifting (nothing greater than 15 lbs) or strenuous exercise for two weeks
  2. Call if you have a fever of 101 or higher
  3. 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)
  4. 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
  5. Use incentive spirometry bottle 4 times daily for 7 days
  6. Walk daily until you can walk 30 minutes at a time
  7. Increased gas is common for the first 3-6 weeks. Gas-X is recommended or Di-Gel. These should be in liquid form.
  8. Do not take any anti-inflammatory pain medications unless approved by doctor (e.g., ibuprofen, advil, motrin, naprosyn, aleve, daypro)
  9. 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.
  10. Take chewable Flintstone or chewable Centrum vitamins daily.

Post-Op Diet - Stage 3


  • Soft fruit (banana, melon, strawberries)
  • Cooked vegetables and fresh green vegetables
  • Soft pasta (well cooked)
  • Eggs
  • Toast or Crackers

Gradually add regular foods and remember

  1. Eat only at set meal times
  2. NO LIQUIDS with meanls for 30-45 mins afterward
  3. Avoid cheap calorites (fat, high calorie liquid, sweets, ice cream, junk food, cookies, etc.)
  4. Protein supplements 1 a day for 1 month

Post-Op Diet - STAGE 2 - Two Weeks

Full liquids from the list below can now be gradually added to your diet.

  1. 3 meals per day with a liquid protein supplement twice daily between meals.
  2. NO liquids with meals if soft food is included. You must wait 30-45 minutes for the pouch to empty before drinking.
  3. CHEW WELL - the food must be almost liquified before swallowing

Full Liquid Diet

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Blenderized Soup
  • Soup with noodles
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • Grits
  • Cream of Wheat

Post-Op Diet - STAGE 1 - First 2 weeks post-op

To get my mind off being hunger and the pain in my shoulder, I am going to post my Post-Op diet - Just in case I need it or anyone is interested...

Stage 1 - First two weeks post-op

  1. Liquids only from list below 3 times daily at set times
  2. 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


  • Coffee,
  • tea,
  • fruit juice (no orange or grapefruit),
  • crystal light,
  • nutrasweet,
  • sugar free koolaid,
  • protein drinks,
  • broth,
  • skim milk or lactaid,
  • sugar free jello,
  • sugar free popsicles,
  • low-fat yogurt,
  • sugar free pudding,
  • applesauce or baby food fruit

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

The Heating Pad is My Friend

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!

Sleeping Positions and Incisions...

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

Exercise - Nah, Not Today...

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

5 days out...Doing Good

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

Starting Weight / Goal Weight

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.

3 Days Post Op

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...

Large Port or Mini Port?

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

Yum! Meatless Protein...Seriously

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

Tents and Awnings

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...8.5 pounds...

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

Same Day...Different Story...

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...

Different Day...Same Story...

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

Erosion, slippage, arrrrggghhh!

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

Do I have a fat suit on?

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 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

3 Days Down!

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...