Friday, December 30, 2005

Down 4 more!

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

Cut My Hair

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

Damn Port! First Fill. Weigh In.

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


  1. Eat only small meals (four to six ounces = 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
  2. Cut food into small, dime-size bites. Eat only one bite at a time. Chew thoroughly and swallow carefully
  3. Stop eating as soon as you feel full
  4. Do not drink while eating
  5. Eat only quality, nutritious foods. Remember protein first!
  6. Avoid white, starchy foods and fibrous boods with stalks
  7. Drink plenty of fluids during the day (eight 8oz glasses) unless contraindicated due to a medical condition
  8. Drink only low-calorie liquids
  9. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, unless contraindicated due to a medical condition
  10. 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

First Fill Tomorrow!

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

Oh the Golfball!

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

  • 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.

  • 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

Up 1/2 pound & Stage 3 Diet

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
No restriction
4 weeks post op (I am going to quit tracking this at 6 weeks)
Diet - Phase/Stage 3

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chocolate Sundae...Oh My!

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

Post-Op Checkup

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

Stupid Blog!

Well, I haven't been posting because I keep writing posts, but they don't get published. Aaaarghhhh! Let's see if this one works.

Woo Hoo! Scale Moved!

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
  • Oatmeal
  • Grits
  • 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