Saturday, June 30, 2007

It's WHAT?

My BMI is well within the normal range. I guess that milestone just past by without me noticing. I was talking to a friend and it came up. I am at 22.9!! That is pretty exciting. If I can lose this last little bit I will finally be at my goal weight too. (started out at 35.6)

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5>
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Dilation and and Slippage Info - Received from Dr

What is a normal pouch?
The gastrointestinal tract is made of smooth muscle which streches and constricts to pass food along the tract and to accommodate different sizes and consistencies of food. The lapband is surgically places a the gastroesophageal junction where the esophagus wides and becomes the upper part of the stomach. When the band is tighteded, it narrows this area creating an hour glass appearance and a small pouch of stomach above the band. It is the small pouch that aids in your weight loss by limiting the amount of food you can eat at one time. Once it is stretched, you will feel a fullness or slight pressure in your chest area. This is a signal to stop eating. (Some people also experience hiccuping, runny nose, and other things.)

What happens when a pouch is dilated?
The pouch can be overstretched by overating, eating too fast, taking bites that are too big, eating foods that are uncomfortable, vomiting, or having your band too tight. If you continually overstretch your pouch, you can cause your pouch to dilate or "stretch out" and then it will hold more food. You may notice weight gain or that you can eat larger portions of food. If you continue eating the larger portions, it worses the problem by further stretching the pouch.

What is a slip?
Slippage occurs when the stomach below the band 'slips' up through the stoma (the opening inside the band between the pouch and the rest of the stomach), causing a prolapsed or herniated pouch. This herniated area can hang over the edge of the band causing food to be stuck in the pouch and preventing it from passing through the stoma to the larger stomach. This is what causes heartburn, regurgitation, vomiting and pain that can be associated with a symptomatic slip. In severe 'slippage' circulations to the stomach can be compromised requiring a second surgery to repair the slippage or to remove the band if there is too much scar tissue to repair the area. It is believed that vomiting is the biggest cause of a slip, so go to the doc if you are experiencing ongoing vomiting.

What should I do if I think I have a dilation or slip?
Although these complications are not common (I think they are more common than they are reported, but that is my opinion and not in any way based on fact.) they can be serious. Summarizing now...Follow the rules. If you think there is a problem, go get it checked out. Don't wait.

What will happen if I am diagnosed with a dilation or slip?
For most dilations or slips the first non-surgical step to treat the problem is to remove all fluid from the band to allow the system to rest. This will relieve some of the stress on the pouch which has led to dilation and hopefully allow the pouch to regain some of its tone so that it can again function to limit portions. (Translation - back to liquids.) In a slip, removing the fluid enlarges the stoma, increasing the chances that the stomach which slipped above the band can slip back down.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hungry! - and some thoughts...

My hunger has been a bit of a struggle. I find that now I have had my band so long I am way more in tune with hunger and food. I say this in a good way. I can now tell when I am hungry and it is real hunger. I also have learned that it doesn't take a lot of food to stop that feeling.

I say that because right now I only have .6 in my band. I am 'able' to eat much more food, but have (for the most part) stuck with my 1/2 - 3/4 cups of food and when I am truly hungry I have a small snack. (A few almonds, a yogurt, or something healthy.)

The other thing is that the things I couldn't eat because of the band - which for me is mainly bread - I just continue to not eat. Overall, I am pretty proud of myself. (I have also kept my butt away from the soda.)

If that wasn't enough, I am now only TWO pounds from my goal. Bottom line - slow and steady wins the race and you have to hang in there. You have to leverage what the band provides you, but it is still YOU at the end of the day.

I know someone that also got the band. Generalizing, in the beginning as the band gets adjusted correctly, the weight comes off without a lot of effort. BUT as time goes on it gets much harder. You HAVE to make good choices and most people HAVE to exercise. She has put on 20 lbs of the weight she lost which I think was around 60 lbs. How? Making bad choices - eating around the band and not moving.

A little word on exercise - in my experience - you don't have to become a gym rat. 5 days a week at 30 mins or 3 days at 60 mins has worked out well for me. Walking is great. Just get moving.

I think I am having these thoughts because I am so close to goal. I will be glad to get there and at that point might even think about taking off a few additional pounds. Will see how it goes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Where did all the bandsters go?

It seems that there were many bandsters that were blogging, but over time they stopped. I wonder what happened? Did they hit their goal and get focused on other things? Were they having problems? I finally cleaned up my Blogrolling and deleted the blogs that had not been updated since last year. I go through slumps where I don't post either, but decided that 6 or more months was the cleanup line. I sure hope that they made it and are happy with their decision. But dang it, I sure wish I knew!!

I ran across a Blog on someone else's that is a bandster seeking out bandster blogs. But wouldn't you know it, I can't seem to remember where it was or the Blog on which I linked to it from. I am also on the hunt for other bandster blogs. I find them to be very helpful. Maybe helpful is not the right word, maybe it is supportive? Regardless, I like them. So, please if you know of any that I am not linked to, please share!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Went Shopping

And I Am now solidly in an 8 in Misses and a 9 (which is a bit big) in Juniors. I will definitely be a 6 by the time I lose the last bit. The 8's will be too big. Who would have thought? hee hee. If you read back in my blog I thought I'd be an 8 by the end. A 6 is defintely small enough considering how tall I am. My friends think I am thin enough now, but let's be real they don't see me in the shower and I know there is more to come off.

I do wonder about sizes though. I swear that sizes are much bigger than they used to be. I know I am not as small as I was in college, but yet I can wear a 6 it is just tighter than I like it to be. Vanity sizing - I think that is the culprit. (And the 2-3% spandex in everything.) I still think I would wear a much bigger size in Europe. But oh well, right? I don't live in Europe.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Paranoia Remains

Well it has been a week since I got my band refilled. It has been difficult not to continue to stress every time I eat or drink and that when I go back in a couple weeks I will find that I have a dilated pouch. It is actually quite annoying! I think it is going to take going back a time or two and seeing that everything is OK.

As far as what did it - They don't know. I had not been in frequently enough that it could be pinpointed. I guess there are a lot of ways it can happen - which in my experience - they kinda tell you but more importantly they tell you it doesn't happen very often. I swear this is what I was told, but now it seems I am told that it happens quite often. I am tending to believe that the things I hear now are probably nearer to the truth.

Did you know there is a new band? It is my understanding that it is wider and is a continous circle. It turns out that all other bands have a little tiny spot where the restriction breaks. It seems to me that this wider band will further reduce the chance of slips and I was told that is what they hoped. Interesting stuff.

Anyway, that's my update for now. Trying to adhere to all the rules, but with a little fill I am getting hungry between meals. C'est la vie, right? ;)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Doc Visit Results

Mostly good news. My pouch had shrunk almost down to normal. So, I did get refilled, but only .6!!! My first fill was all the way to 1.2. 2nd fill took me to too much (can't remember what it was) and was backed off to 1.4. It was only .6 because she wanted to be conservative and see if my pouch will shrink the rest of the way. That is all fine and dandy, but now it will take another $150 to get the next fill. (A little frustrating! as I would have preferred to be filled to 1.2 and continue fluids for a bit longer. Anyhoo...)

On soft foods today and then back to real food tomorrow. Have to ENSURE that no more than 3/4 cup is eaten (6 oz.) at a meal. Doctor's orders, but bandster rules anyway. The problem may be that might not keep me full because my fill is not much. I was given the permission to snack. This could be a slippery slope, so going to try to not do that unless I am desperate.

I seriously cannot believe that I am only 4 lbs from goal. I am thinking that I might lower my goal weight another 10 lbs. But honestly, if I get the additional 10 off, then I will likely add the last 6 to get to a full 100 lbs lost. Just don't know. Depends how I look.

That's it for now. I go back in another 3 weeks. Will post again then at the latest.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Tomorrow morning I go to the doctor for another fluoro. I have stuck to full liquids since I was there and was unfilled. I have actually been really stressed and nervous about whether or not my pouch is shrinking back into shape. I am concerned that nothing has happened and that it will still be the same. Other stupid thoughts I am battling:
  • Any little twinge or anything is something going on with my band.
  • Wondering why I am not starving.
  • Even though I am unfilled and on liquids that when I have the liquids that I am stretching my pouch.
  • Why aren't I more hungry?
  • Why am I getting full on liquids?
  • Will the weight I lost really stay off when I go back to solids?
  • Will I be able to get a fill back to where I was before without additional visits at $150 each
  • Should I go to 1.2 instead of 1.4 fill in case the stretching was caused by being too tight
  • And a zillion others!

I will report in tomorrow after the doctor's visit. Stats follow. Really close to goal weight!!!

Official weigh in stats:

  • Starting weight: 234 lbs
  • Current weight: 153 lbs
  • Overall loss: 81 lbs (Broke 80 lbs!!)
  • Lbs to goal: 4 lbs

Monday, June 04, 2007

Anyone out there? Band Update

I temporarily blocked my blog, so not sure if I lost all the people that used to drop by...thought I'd update what is going on. I think it is important stuff for others with a band---or for me in hindsight. (I have found going back and reading old posts to be very helpful.)

I was having some reflux at night. I have been eating my portions, etc. and generally being a good bandster. I did notice that I was eating a bit more, but weight was good, so didn't think much of it. The reflux is what got me. I knew there was something up.

I went to the doc and had fluoro. The band was still in the right location --- no slip. So, that was good news! But, yes there is a but, my pouch was stretched. Yep - you know it...UNFILLED!!!

They unfilled my band and I am on a liquid / then soft food diet for 14 days. The hope / plan is that my pouch will go back into shape. It is supposed to. 7 days (this Thursday - June 7) and I go back to see how things are going.

So, there has to be something that caused this right? Reviewed my journals, etc. and voila. I swear it was the soda that I had read so much about people enjoying. That is the only thing that I had that I shouldn't have. Keep in mind - I was stirring it to get the bubbles out. Maybe this is OK for some, but definitely NOT me. Bottom line: I am self-pay and I need to stay within the rules.

Another thing - GET YOUR BAND CHECKED!! It had been a year since I had been in. Probably could have caught this earlier. So, now going to go every 90 days for a while and then switch to every 6 months. Costs $150 a visit, but $600 a year is worth it to keep my band in shape.

Official weigh in stats:
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 156.5 lbs
Overall loss: 77.5 lbs
Lbs to goal: 7.5 lbs