Monday, January 31, 2011

20 lbs & 2 NSVs

Friday, February 5, 2010

It has been 10 days since my surgery and I'm really starting to get back in the swing of things. If you read my earlier blog, you know that I was having esophageal spasms that hurt tremendously. Well, as the swelling has gone down, the spasms have almost fully gone away. Yay! I hope that means that I won't have problems with fills, but I will definitely keep track of it.

As of today, I am down 21.1 lbs. I include my pre-op diet pounds in my total because it is all part of the process. I am a little worried that I will gain some now that I am eating solid food, but alas, that is part of the process as well.

I had TWO non-scale victories today. I am a HUGE Colts fan and my best friend is a HUGE Saints fan. She mentioned a couple weeks ago that she was planning to wear her cute little women's cut Saints jersey to work today. Well, my XXL men's Colts jersey hasn't fit for months. I tried it on last night and it doesn't look half bad! YAY! So, I can represent! That is NSV #1.

NSV #2 - I haven't worn my rings in several months. I kept telling myself it was because I was "swollen". Heh. Anyway, they are a little snug, but I'm wearing my rings (that I wore everyday for about 10 years) again today.

It is only the beginning and good things are just flying at me!!

Post-op Appointment

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hi all! Today was a busy day, but quite productive.

I had my post op appointment this morning. I felt a TON better today and feel like I'm well on the road to recovery. I still didn't understand why my gas was so freaking bad, but other than that, all was well.

I told the nurse about the gas and as we discussed it she got a look on her face. She said that they weren't gas pains that they were spasms in my esophogus. She said that is what happens when your band is too tight. Hmm...interesting. How anybody could ever live with that, I have no idea. She said that if it is to continue that they will take the fluid out that was put in at the beginning until I fully heal. I think that the swelling is going down quickly enough that I won't have to do that. If it continues though, I will fix it. Living with it is not an option!!

She also gave me my diet progression. I can eat most canned foods now..fruits, veggies, tuna, etc. I can also have eggs, refried beans & innards of a baked potato. Soft cheeses are okay too. This diet is for one week. The next week I can add all veggies and all chicken and fish along with a few other things. The following week (after my first fill appointment routine), I go to my full post op diet. YAY!

I still have a lot of swelling so I'm not hungry at all. Not good for the spasms, but since they are lessening now, at least it is a positive byproduct. For lunch, I had one scrambled egg and I dipped my bites in salsa. For dinner, I had a baked potato with cheese, sour cream, and butter. I only ate about half of it.

So far, I have had absolutely no issues with food going down. I have high hopes that will continue! :drool:

I spent my first afternoon at work. I was exhausted after about 3 hours so I was really glad I only did a half day. We will see how tomorrow goes.

Day #7 - Healing

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hi everyone! I've been absent for a couple of days because I had been following the rule that if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all. :bored: I knew from everything you all told me that the pain would pass, so I just waited it out.

I can't say you all didn't warn totally did! I guess that since I have a high tolerance for pain, I thought I could handle it better. Plus, I don't think I expected it to last so long. They didn't really get bad until Day #4 and they lasted excruciatingly until Day #6. Alas, it is Day #7 and everything is tolerable. I am still quite uncomfortable, but I feel that it is downhill from here!

Food has turned me off since the surgery so I still have to force myself to eat the mushy stuff. I don't feel hungry at this point. I'm sure that once all the swelling goes down, I will be hungry again.

Tomorrow is my post op appointment and they will tell me what I can eat from here. I'm trying not to hope too much that I will be able to eat something new. :mad3: That would be super awesome though.

I have a girls group that goes to dinner once a month and we are getting together tomorrow. I would be fine to get soup and just eat the broth or get a smoothie on the way, but it would be so great if I can have flaky fish and mashed potatoes or something!

Hope as is well with you all!!

Day #3 - Healing

Friday, January 29, 2010

One more day down and getting better. I still have a lot of gas pain so I have been walking and I have taken the advice for using a heating pad. Maybe that will help. All in all, it is doable.

I took off the bandage on my belly button this morning to take a shower. Not pretty! I'm sure it will heal fine though. Just one other small incision and it looks like it is healing perfectly. The belly button incision stings a little more since being bared so I have some ice on it.

I had hot tea for breakfast this morning and it went down fine. Around 10:30, I had some protein powder in milk. It wasn't too bad, but I definitely like it better cold.
I'm so fortunate to have my mom here helping me. I don't know how some of you all do it on your own. It is just so comforting and makes it easier to relax. We are going to have one more completely lazy day (except for the walking.) Tomorrow I'm going to try and make myself presentable for a trip to church. I think I should be able to do that. I have theater tickets for Sunday, so church should give me a good indicator if I will be able to do that. It is only a couple of hours. We shall see.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Day #2 - Healing

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hi everyone! I am officially a bandster. Woo hoo!!

Mom flew in the night before and we briefly chatted and got ready for bed. I was really tired, but once I was in bed I was quite anxious so I took my $13 Valium. Next thing I knew it was morning.

We had to be at the surgery center at 6:45 so we were up and at it bright and early. We happened to walk in with my surgeon so I felt that was a good sign somehow. I was slated to go second for the day and I filled out my paperwork. They took the first girl back and it seemed just a few minutes later that they called me back. The nurses were super sweet as they prepped me. I had to give a urine sample before I had the surgery but I had to wait until the first girl was out of the bathroom. That took about 20 minutes, I think. Poor girl could never go so they brought her out to give her fluids and bumped me up a spot. Woo hoo!

I talked to the surgeon a bit. He's a feisty one. But I like that. I remember meeting the anesthesiologist (CA-UTE!) but nothing much after that. Next thing I knew I was in recovery. The nurse said that I did so great during my preop diet that my liver looked fantastic and the normally 45 minutes surgery took only 20! That made it all worth it.

I felt like I had been hit by a truck, but I was also feeling optimistic. I had to sit in post op for about an hour and I started to feel a bit better. As I was about ready to go the girl that got bumped came out of surgery and she was not having an easy time of it. I felt bad for her but it made me realize how well I was doing.

That was it and I was ready to go home. Mom drove me and I realized it was only 9:15. Wow. I was home three hours from the time I left in the morning. Crazy!

The day was long. I wasn't sleepy at all so a nap was out of the question. My mom kept me company and we watched mindless TV all day. I would move back and forth from the chair to the couch throughout the day. One thing I noticed is that I could lay on my side almost immediately. That surprised me, I took pain medication every four hours regardless of how I felt. I think that helped a lot. I also took a lot of GasX. It didn't seem to do much until late in the evening when I started to feel things moving in my tummy. I have been farting like a trucker ever since.

My throat hurt worse than I expected it to, my incisions hurt less than I expected to and my gas hurt about like I expected.

My friends at work sent me flowers which was super sweet. And I had a lot of friends and family members sending me good thoughts and messages.

I went to bed around 10 PM. I was able to cuddle a body pillow and sleep on my side. I slept quite well until 4:30 when I got up and took more pain medication. I went back to sleep and woke up around 8:00 to a text from my friend. (Side note: she recently had a break in, but is trying to hook up with the police officer that came by and I have been giving her pointers. She had just taken some thank you cookies to the station and needed some support. :thumbup:  These things are important!)

I still have gas today, but it has subsided quite a bit. Insicions hurt but only a little bit. My throat is almost all better. There is just a small cut on the top of my mouth from the breathing tube that is driving me crazy.

I have been drinking water like crazy. Yesterday I had grape juice, a popsicle and a tiny bit of chicken broth. No issues whatsoever. Today I have had more juice and I'm having hot tea now. I also took my birth control pill and had no issue with it going down. For lunch I will have some more chicken broth and for dinner I might get crazy and have some beef broth.

All in all...not a bad experience. Yesterday I felt like I got hit by a Mack truck, but today just a VW bug. Ha!

Hope you are all doing well out there!!

Day #14 - Liquid Diet

Wednesday, January 26, 2010

This is it. This is the last day! So close!! YAY!

In my mind the process is broken down into steps:
  • Waiting period - done.
  • Pre op diet - almost done!
  • Surgery
  • Healing
  • Weightloss
    • 10% of weight lost (28.5 lbs)
    • 50 pounds lost
    • 75 pounds lost
    • 100 pounds lost
    • Nutritionist goal (120 pounds lost)
    • Surgeon goal (140 pounds lost)
    • Adjusted goal TBD
  • Maintenance
I have no idea how long this all will take, but I do better when I have smaller obtainable goals. Getting through surgery is a biggie for me and that itself will be be done (probably) by this time tomorrow. Whoa. Ahem...anyway...

The only thing on my mind is to get through the surgery safely then start on healing. I consider the healing process to be from tomorrow afternoon through my first fill which is scheduled for 2/19.

I will give you all an update as soon as I can!

Day #13 - Liquid Diet

Monday, January 25, 2010

I had a major smoothie meltdown over the weekend. I certainly don't hate smoothies, but I was at the point that I couldn't even think of one without gagging. I honestly didn't know that was possible. I didn't eat much on Saturday and I knew that wasn't healthy. I still felt that way yesterday, but managed to choke down a protein shake in the AM, but I ended up having a little less shake and a little more soup than I am supposed to have in the PM. I felt slightly bad for "cheating", but since the two soups together were actually less calories than some of the other soups I can have, I can't imagine that it caused too much damage. Plus, I feel much better today and know that I can finish out the diet from here.

I had a little bit of excitement this morning. I was talking to my mom about her flight in (she is helping me post surgery). She is coming in Tuesday evening and my surgery was Wednesday morning. Well, long story short, her plane ticket is for Wednesday evening, not Tuesday. Sigh. There was a lot of drama, but the airline switched her up and she is coming in Tuesday evening, just like she thought. YAY!

The surgery nurse called me today and I'm to be at the surgery center at 6:45 AM. I like that. I would rather get there early and get it over instead of waiting much of the day...especially since I have to fast. So, it is really starting to feel real. I thought I would be more freaked out, but I'm not. Yet, anyway.

My girlfriends are going to go get pedicures with me tonight so I'm not sitting at home thinking about it. They are awesome!

Wednesday morning will be the official end of my pre op diet and I will weigh in then, but as of this morning I am down 11.8 lbs. So, I think I will hit my goal of 12 lbs. lost on the pre op diet. I'm definitely proud of myself for that.

Day #10 - Liquid Diet

Friday, January 22, 2010

I had an interesting coversation with a friend the other day. She was the first person other than my mom that I told about my decision to have Lap Band and she is very supportive. I was reminiscing about days long ago when I was smaller and I said something about having no idea what I would look like at 180 because i have never weighed that as an adult. Her eyes got wide and she said that she didn't think I looked 180 now. Ha! Ahem. I love my friend, but I'm quite sure I don't look 180. She said that she thinks her husband is lying to her about how much he weighs since it isn't as much as me. I told her that he probably wasn't as I weigh more than most men I know including my dad (who is NOT a small man.)

That got me to thinking about my body type. I have been so fortunate in my life to always look like I weigh much less than I do. My weight is very evenly distributed over my body and I've always (well, until very recently) had a shape. The last area to really gain is my midsection. As I've gained this year into weights I have never been before, I have developed fat areas that I've never had. I now have a large belly and the dreaded intertube.

I have lost about 10 pounds on my liquid diet and I can tell a difference in my midsection. Although this area is smaller, I think I can tell that it is never going to be the same. Although I feel sure it would have only gotten worse, I am a little sad that I didn't start this process earlier.

Oh well, what's done is done. I'm quite sure that once I get to 180, I won't be disappointed!!

Day #8 - Liquid Diet

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I hit a wall this morning! I thought I was going to barf if I had to eat another smoothie. But then I ate a smoothie and didn't barf, so now I feel like a champion. Ha! I feel like I broke through the wall and I'm on track again. I do feel more hungry today, so I'm not quite sure what's up with that. I KNOW I will work it out though.

I had my non-official "official" one week weigh in this morning and I am down 8.7 lbs. So yay! My goal for the two week liquid diet is 12 lbs, so I only need to lose (less than) half that this week to meet it.

I haven't cheated AT ALL. I'm pretty sure that I have never done that before...ever. I went to an event last night that had a buffet dinner. On my way, I drank 2/3 of a protein shake and had the rest a couple hours later on the way home. That's HUGE for me, people!

I have my monthly dinner with my girlfriends tonight. There are 6 of us and all but one know about my upcoming procedure. My friend in charge of picking the place this month chose a place with broth based soup so I can eat there. I love my friends. Some of them have battled with weight issues, but not like me at all. Some of them have never had to battle this particular demon. We are all different, but we are quite tight.

I WILL be good today. I'm not thinking about anything but today. I know I can do it.

Have a great day everybody!

Day #7 - Liquid Diet

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Although my CPAP is not yet completely effective (it will take another 20 pounds for that, I think), I'm feeling really great! Tomorrow morning is my one week weigh in and I know that I have done great, so far. I was thinking this morning that I wish this diet was only one week, but I know that if I can do one week...I can do two weeks!

I'm going to go have a popsicle. Have a great day everyone!

Day #6 - Liquid Diet

Monday, January 18, 2010

So, it hasn't been quite as bad as I expected. Knowing that I only have 9 more days...there is a definitive end...makes all the difference. I obviously couldn't keep this up indefinitely. If I could, I wouldn't be in this situation!

My liquid diet consists of protein shakes twice a day and a bowl of soup once a day. I can fill in with sugar-free jello, pudding and popsicles. I have to say that I'm quite tired of jello, pudding and popsicles. :thumbup:

I'm still not very good at making my own protein shakes, so I tend to drink ready made or Smoothie King. I love Smoothie King's Chocolate Gladiator with berries, but I can't seem to replicate it yet.

I have lost 7.3 lbs. and I'm excited by that. I had gained around 15 lbs. over the holidays, so it would be nice to get at least most of that off before surgery. I have no doubt that the loss will slow way down now, but I still have 9 days. I plan to update my ticker once a week, so official weigh in will be Wed. morning.

I am so proud of myself for not cheating. Not even a little!! I have diet coke in my fridge and I don't even really miss it. What I do miss is Chipotle. Mmmm...Chipotle. I actually blame Chipotle for 30 of the 40 pounds I have gained this year. I love the stuff and I could never content myself with just a little bit. I'm hoping the band with help with that, but I know it might be something I have to stay away from for good. Only time will tell.

Things I still have to do before surgery: get my blood test, get my allergy shot, pick up meds at pharmacy, and grocery shop for the necessary post op diet. But I have a lot to keep me busy this week, like a NASCAR dinner at Texas Motor Speedway (that's right...I said it), "dinner" with friends, a couple of movies and some training at church. Plus, a couple of friends are going to get pedicures with me on the Monday before surgery to help keep my mind off it. Then mom comes in Tuesday night and Wednesday is surgery. It is going to be over and done with before I know it!

Day #1 - Preop Diet

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My smoothie this morning was great as usual, so no issues there. I even started my morning with some hot tea as recommended by the nutritionist and I really like how it cleared my throat.

About 10:30 I started getting hungry. At 11:00 I ate a sugar free jello cup which is allowed on the plan.

I told a friend that we could ride together to grab lunch. There isn't a Smoothie King by there, but there is a Jamba Juice so I decided to try it for the first time. I have to say that I was quite dissappointed. They had some good choices, but their protein powder is only 10g of protein. Not enough for my plan, but I decided to go with it this one time. I got a Mega Mango (all fruit) with the protein. I honestly almost can't drink it. It doesn't have much flavor and I can really feel the protein powder coat my tongue. It is going to take me 2 hours to eat the darn thing.

In the end, I guess it is a good thing. Won't be tempted by something that doesn't really fit in my plan.

I brought a jello cup and a pudding cup for afternoon snacks. I have theater tickets tonight so we are going to dinner somewhere I can get some soup and I have another pudding cup for dessert.

It will feel good to have one day on the books!! I'm hungry, but psyched up enough to keep on track.

Change is hard...but exciting.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I had my pre-op and nutritionist appointments this morning. I think I'm a little overwhelmed. I definitely started to panic on my way from the doctor to work, but I was able to get past it. I think I'm good to go now!

I'm starting my pre-op diet tomorrow. It is mostly a liquid diet. Two protein shakes and one serving of either broth based soup or cottage cheese. You can even have "chunks" in the soup. So that will be good. It is going to be super hard. I don't know why I thought it would only be one week of liquid diet. Oh well, maybe I will lose my holiday weight before I actually have the surgery. That would be excellent!!

I keep thinking about how ridiculously hungry I'm going to be. But then I think I can do most anything for two weeks.

I actually told several of my employees today. I wasn't planning to tell most of work, but we were discussing me been out and I was asked specifically what surgery I was having. I started talking about how it was stomach surgery, no big deal. But then I realized that I love these people so I just said, "well, I'm having the Lap Band procedure." They were all so happy for me (of course, I guess they work for me so it would be weird to trash me.) One of them has a daughter who had a band, but she had a lot of complications. She still said she thought it was a good idea and thought I would be good with it. That was a great feeling!!

So, now it is definitely not a secret. I'm okay with that. I just don't do secrets well.

I took my before pictures last night and they are beauties! Ha! I will post them soon.

That said...tomorrow is officially Day #1. Here I go!

Tomorrow is a pre-op appointment.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I am truly getting excited about this process. I am a planner though, so I have been holding back somewhat because I haven't known what kind of pre-op diet I will have. Normally, I would have had a day-by-day menu already prepared. :w00t:

That's how it happens for me. I join WW or Jenny Craig and I meticulously plan my meals. And I do great!! I lose weight and everything is groovy. Until, of course, I can't plan that one week. And then everything starts to crumble. So my new goal is to be more flexible and "go with the flow".

My other nagging feeling is the guilt I feel for gaining weight since my initial mid-November appointment. The surgeon didn't put me on a diet, nor did they say "don't gain weight", although I'm guessing it was implied. Through Thanksgiving and Christmas, I gained around 15 pounds. Although I'm a little embarrassed by that, mostly I just want to move forward. I feel confident that I can go on any pre-op diet that I am given and be successful. I just don't want to be judged and get a lecture. Sigh. I'm 12. :)

Tonight is my last support group meeting pre-band. I'm going to have someone take my "before" pictures, so (even though they will be icky to look at) that will give me some turbo-incentive!

To me, 1/12 has always been the date I was waiting for even though my surgery date isn't until 1/27. Tomorrow it starts! YAY! I have decided that even if my my pre-op diet is less than two weeks, I'm going to make it two weeks.

I'm getting fired up now just thinking about it!! I will post my before pictures tomorrow. Try not to lose any sleep in anticipation, y'all! Hee!

Like Guns N Roses...I just need a little patience.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm a self pay patient and I'm scheduled for 1/27. I love the doctor and the package of care that is included, so I was fine with the price. Expensive, but it is what I wanted.

I saw a commercial today and the advertised price for EXACTLY what I have scheduled had dropped $3k. Holy cow.

I made a call to the office and left a message with my contact to see if I can get the newly advertised price. Hopefully, they will just say yes and that will be the happy end of it.

But of course, I'm nervous that they won't.

Nothing I can do until they call me back.

For you GNR fans...

I sit here on the stairs
'Cause I'd rather be alone
If I can't have you right now
I'll wait, dear
Sometimes I get so tense
But I can't speed up the time
But you know, love
There's one more thing to consider

22 days to go...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

...and only 7 Days until my pre-op appointment. Wow. I'm ready though!

I decided that I wouldn't police myself over Christmas. I figured that if I gained 5 or 6 pounds, so be it. How many of you just laughed to yourself about my naivete? Yes, I actually gained 9.5 pounds. Add that to the 3 pounds I gained at Thanksgiving and I am almost 13 pounds heavier from the holidays. Ugh. Can't blame a soul but myself.

I did work out last night for the first time in forever. My feet are killing me these days (from the extra weight) so I can't Jazzercise, but I worked out for 40 minutes on my Wii Fit. It isn't a super duper workout, but I sweat and got my heart rate up. It is a start and I will make a goal to do at least 30 minutes each day this week.

One of the company partners brought in a Bacon Explosion today. What is that you ask? See for yourself:
Bacon Explosion: The BBQ Sausage Recipe of all Recipes Yikes! I had one bite. Probably my entire fat count for the whole day. Ha!

Another random thought: I want to take my official "before" picture this weekend before I start my pre-op diet. I live alone and it is not super fun to imagine asking a friend to do it. (I want it to be in workout pants and top. Those seem to show the differences best to me.) So, I was thinking that I would take my outfit and camera to my support group meeting on Monday. I bet one of them would take it for me. I love having that group along with this site. It has really allowed me to talk about it a lot without driving my friends crazy. Plus, my mom talks to me about it all the time so that helps too.

I just need to get through this week then time is going to fly by! Happy week, y'all!

I'm SO ready for 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I had a wonderful Christmas vacation with friends and family. I'm so fired up for my pre-op diet (starting Jan. 12th) and my surgery (Jan. 27th)!!

I see my parents several times a year, but I only see my brother's family 2-3 times a year. In 2009 we went to Disney World in January, but then I didn't see them again until September. So seeing them again in December seemed quick, plus I stayed over a week!

I had planned to tell my (adorable, thin, runner, supportive, wonderful) sister-in-law about my surgery, but when I got up there I just decided to wait. I felt sure that she would be supportive, but I wasn't sure how my brother would react and mostly I just didn't want to bring it up.

All was fine, but I guess I never told my mom that I wasn't going to say anything. I'm not exactly sure of the conversation, but she indicated to my SIL that I had something to tell her. I told her that she could just tell her and so she did. I was alone in the car with SIL yesterday before I left and she asked me about it. She was lovely and wonderfully supportive. **The Shocking Part** My brother is a good brother, but he is not always the nicest of guys. He is an atheletic popular type and people just LOVE him. One day he was just so grumpy that I left the house. I'm sure it was just having us all around, but, we do. Most of the time he was great, so a blip every once in a while is fine. I'm sure I get on his nerves too, so there you go. Anyway, he took me to the airport yesterday and was very nice. When we stopped, he went to the back of the car to help me with my luggage. He hugged me and said "Good luck with your procedure. We'll be thinking of you." That was huge, people. I mean...just huge.

My SILs sister is having a baby in March and we were sitting around the living room talking about baby names. We started teasing about what I would name my baby. My 6 year old niece got so excited because she thought I was pregnant. She was jumping around and said..."That's why you're so fff..." I smiled and laughed and said "..fat? No, we are just teasing." My SIL was slightly mortified, but I took it in stride.

The most horrific moment of the trip was when I got on the plane to come back. The seatbelt didn't fit. I had one on the way that fit with spare room. I feel confident that I didn't gain that much over the week, but it didn't matter. Maybe it was a different kind of plane. I asked the guy attendent and he was super nice and quiet about it. I think if this would have happened before I had made my decisions and plans, I would have broken down. Instead, I let myself get teary eyed for a few minutes, then I just let it go. It is just another not-so-fun reminder that I have a plan that is right for me and things WILL change.

28 days to surgery!!

Sinus Infections are Not Fun.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

After 7 sinus infections in one year, last November I saw an allergist. It turned out that I was allergic to EVERYTHING! At least all seasonal allergies. Big bummer. So I started getting shots. At first it was 2-4 times a week which was tough to do, but I actually stuck with it.

The shots were so effective for me that I didn't have another sinus infection until today. Although it totally stinks that I have one now, I think it is pretty cool that was able to put it off for a whole year.

Now if I can just get through the next couple of days!! I have tickets to see South Pacific tonight and I'm not going to miss it. Getting up for work tomorrow will be the painful part.

Have a great day, everyone!

I *heart* my support group.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I attended my 2nd LB support group last night. Even though I'm not being banded until January, they are so inclusive and helpful.

It is so wonderful to sit in a room with people that are going through, have gone through or will go through what I'm going through now. They also do things together outside of group, so it brings in a whole new social element.

One of the veterns (she was banded in Dec 2008, met her goal of 84 lbs lost in July and has been maintaining since) gave me her phone number and email address just in case I have any questions that come up. I mean sweet is that!?! She looks FABULOUS, by the way.

I also met some girls my age and they seem fun to get to know. One of the girls talked about how she lost 150 pounds but then she had a band issue and had to empty it. She then went on a bender and gained 15 pounds before she was able to get back on track. 15 pounds?? I don't want to belittle what I'm sure was a difficult time for her, but I can gain 15 pounds over the holidays! It was another example to me how this can be such an effective tool, not only for weight LOSS, but especially for maintaining.

No one, not even the girl with trouble, regretted or didn't like their band. There was a newbie, banded in late October, that was having a little trouble adjusting, but still willing to work at it.

It is interesting how passionately people feel about the time prior to surgery (diet vs. pig out.) People certainly can argue adamantly one way or the other!!

Bottom line is that I love my support group and plan to be a part of it for a long time!!

How Informed Do I Really Want To Be?

Friday, December 11, 2009

I just read a whole bunch of posts from people who have had bad experiences with Lap Band. There were studies sited and personal experiences shared. Sigh. Then there were people not being so nice to the posters. There are flat out denials, but then there is some compromise. Double sigh.

I do understand that this is not magic. I understand that it will be up to me to make good food choices, to chew well, to exercise, and do all of the other things I need to do. I understand that I will need to listen to my body and trust my instincts.

My biggest fear from what I was reading is that I will either feel no restriction or feel so restricted that I'm constantly throwing up. There were several people that had that experience and it scares me because the point of the Lap Band is restriction, but too much is so unhealthy and counterproductive.

My second biggest fear is that my stomach will erode around the band or that I will develop scar tissue on my liver and not realize it until a lot of damage has been done.

I'm certainly not talking myself out of this, but it I can't say that it didn't dampen my spirits a bit this afternoon.

I guess everyone faces the same thing. I am definitely not turned off by how much work it will be, but it is disheartening to think that I will do this, work hard and still could end up in a worse place.

I prefer happy posts. :tongue2:

Ailment Buster

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This might not be a very fun blog entry to read, but I felt it was one I needed to write so I could see it for myself. I keep saying that I want to be healthy, so what does that mean to me? Once I wrote it, I looked at it before I posted it. Wow. I need this surgery. I need help so I can get and stay healthy. Thank you all for existing so I have somewhere to do this.

SLEEP. About 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Once I got used to my CPAP machine, I had the best nights of sleeping that I had in my life! Then I gained 40 lbs. It certainly didn't happen all at once, but it's like I noticed it all at once. I can feel that my machine is not effective any longer. I am exhausted all the time. I yawn constantly. I remember being like this before I got my machine. While I could go make appointments and get another sleep study and get it all changed (about 60-90 days), my hope is that in the next 3-4 months, I will lose the 25 or so lbs that will make the machine effective again. My ultimate goal would be to get off the machine altogether!!

Acid Reflux. I take two Nexium a day. I have terrible reflux that my doctor has indicated would lessen considerably with weight loss. All the research I have seen indicates that people who suffer from acid reflux benefit greatly from the effects of the Lap Band. I would love to be able to take only one a day with no flare ups. It would be super great if I didn't have to take it at all!

Blood pressure & cholesterol. My blood pressure is mostly fine, but I had a period earlier this year when it was high. I took medication for one month and it seemed to lower and I was able to go off. My cholesterol is hovering near the elevated area. My goal is to NOT have to get on medication for these things!

Skin. I've noticed that as the heavier I get the more issues I have with my skin. I know part of that is nutritional and that will help alone. Part of it is that I am less flexible and it is harder to clean and moisturize in every area. Gross and sad, but true. Better nutrition will help my skin as well.
Feet. My feet hurt constantly. I honestly believe that I'm just trying to carry to much weight. I used to be able to exercise and then ice them, but I can't even do that anymore. I'm actually wearing flector patches during the day just so I can do normal walking. I should be at least able to do normal walking and low impact aerobics without ridiculous pain. I'm hoping for high impact aerobics, but I will settle for low if that is all I can get!

Knees. In the last year, I noticed that as I exercised, my knees started to really hurt. No question in my mind that if I were carrying less weight, this would not be a problem at this point.

Energy. I think this goes along with sleep, but since I'm not able to exercise, I just have no energy whatsoever. I'm sleeping 9-10 hours per night and it just doesn't feel like enough. I remember when I was exercising 7 hours per week. I was bouncing off the wall with energy!

Anxiety. Yes, it would nice to be thin for looks. But mostly, I just want to be comfortable in my own skin. On the outside, I appear calm and don't have any physical reactions to anxiety, but then I'm like a volcano. I have it under control, but it would be nice to not have it at all. I feel that with weightloss, I will feel more comfortable and in control. With that, I feel that my anxiety will lessen.

Comfort. Speaking of comfort, it would just be nice to be able to sit down in a chair and not be concerned if it is sturdy enough. It would be nice to sit in a plane without being concerned that the person next to me is hating life because they are stuck next to a fat person. It would be nice for my nephews and neice to not innocently say things about how big/squishy/fat etc. their aunt is.

I said to someone the other day, "The more you love yourself, the easier you are to love by those who love you." I believe that and I want to make it easier for my family and friends to love me. I want to LOVE myself. ALL of myself!!

I am ready for my new life.

Old Pictures

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When I visited my surgeon, he said that he felt that with hard work, I shoud get to around 145 lbs. I laughed out loud...with disbelief and delight.

I currently weigh around a lot more than that...more than my dad. And my dad is a hefty dude! I gained quite a few pounds this year, about 15-20 from quitting smoking and 5-10 from being lazy. My "normal" weight is around is about 25 pounds less than my current weight.

My lowest point which I hovered around for a few months two different times (once in 2000 and the other in 2006) was about 75 pounds less than now. I felt downright hot at those points! I was wearing clothes from "normal" stores. I really felt that I looked good, but I just couldn't stay there.

In college, I was right around that mark as well. In high school, I remember lying on my driver's license that I was 155, but I was really 165-170. By the time I graduated, I think I was around 180. I found some high school sennior pics the other night that I have posted to this entry. I remember thinking that I was SO fat, but at this age, I think I look great!

If I were to lose 100 pounds and maintain it for the rest of my life, I think I could be quite content.

But before I make that goal, I'm going to make the goal of the doctor's goal of 140 pound loss. Maybe with the right help, confidence and focused work, I can get to that weight and maintain it.
I'm willing to keep my mind open and set small goals as I go. I don't want to frustrate myself or set too lofty goals, but I also don't want to close my mind to an amazing possibilities.

Shortterm goals for now...but the mind stays firmly open!!

Psych Up, Not Out!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I was having a very "is this really the right answer??" sort of day. I'm freaking out about the pre-op diet. I'm worried I won't be ready to come back to work when I need to. But most of all I feel fat. I stopped and thought about it and realized it has been almost 2 weeks since I posted to my blog. I realized that I just need to take some time and figure out what is REALLY bothering me.

What is really bothering me is that I feel fat. I tried on a pair of fat pants this morning and they were too small. So I had to wear my fatter fat pants. Sigh. I feel guilty, because I should be eating better in anticipation of this life change, but so much of me wants the tastes of things that I'm going to have to give up. I know I can do this when it is time. I'm very good about sticking to it when I have made that decision. But I just can't get myself to do it now. That's when I realized it...I want to do this now. I want to do this so much and I can't seem to do it on my own.

My banding date is still 56 days away. I know I had no choice (financially) but to schedule it in 2010. Since I'm a corporate controller, I had to schedule it after the year-end books were closed which puts me at the end of January. So, I had no choice and that is that.

56 days... Of that I will be spending 8 in Louisville with my family. I have two nephews and a niece, so I feel sure I won't have much time to dwell on much of anything!! :wink2: That leaves 48. I have 3 sets of theater season tickets (yes, I have a slight addiction) so 5 nights between now and then, I have wonderful shows to see! 101 Dalmatians tonight, next week is Christmas with the Rat Pack, the following week is South Pacific and I have August: Osage County and a Broadway "spoofish" show in January. Each of those days, I have something FANTASTIC to look forward to!

That gets me down to 43 days. I have two LAP-BAND® Support Group meetings and my pre-op appointment. That leaves 40 days! I have 4 parties in December (including one I am hosting!) and a trip with friends to the Gaylord Texas ICE exhibit. Also, some friends from work and I are going to volunteer at an assisted living facility one day which will be fun. I should probably throw New Year's Eve in there too! I'm now at 36 days.

If I really think about it, I will be on my pre-op diet for 14 days and even though it is going to be super hard I will be DOING something that is moving me toward my goal.

All of that gets me to 22 days. That seems more reasonable. I can get through 22 days! And during that time, while I may not be "dieting", I'm doing things that will help me later. Like I've been trying new protein sources, especially liquids. I have also experimented with not drinking while eating. I'm cutting down on Diet Coke. I was drinking 7-10 a day and I'm currently at 1-5 per day. I will get there! I'm also trying to find non-caffeinated drinks that I like. I am researching how to cook, what to order at restaurants, & what I will need to moderate/give up completely/learn to like.

So, I guess I am doing okay! Whew.


I've Got a Date!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Surgery date, that is! :) I have my pre-op and dietician consult on Tuesday, January 12th. That is when I start my pre-op diet. {cringe}

The big day is Wednesday, January 27th. That is 68 days away! With Thanksgiving and Christmas in there, time is going to fly by.

I'm quite excited! Now that everything is scheduled, it is truly time to just wait. I feel so relaxed, confident and completely satisfied with my decision. I know I will get nervous a few times between now and then, but I am ready.

My parents and 3 friends know right now. A couple remain supportive but skeptical. That's okay, because I plan to "show", not "tell." My plan is to actively blog, attend my support groups and do exactly what my doctor tells me to do.

And so it begins...!! :)

Man, I Hate Pictures.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I had a wonderful weekend. My mom came in town on Friday and we stayed up late talking. She is one of the only people that knows of my Lap Band decision, so we talked about that a lot. We had a nice Saturday shopping and lazing around. There was a small incident in the Kohl's restroom where we learned that fiber granola bars make you gassy. I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time!

Sunday was my confirmation as a Catholic. Religion is deeply personal for many people as it is with me. But I'm so blessed to have had my religious journey this year as I feel that it has helped to give me the strength to make this life changing decision.

I took Monday off to spend with Mom, so I have been crazy busy at work this week. Tuesday afternoon was my first appointment with my surgeon! I just have to coordinate with my mom since she is going to come help me out and I will have it done late January. It will be such a weight lifted once the final plans are made.

Today, I finally had a chance to look at the pictures from my confirmation. HOLY COW! I know I'm fat. That is why I have made this decision. But, man, I just forget how I big I am until I see a picture. When I look in the mirror, I see a big person, but I honestly don't see how big I really am. It made me very sad for a brief moment, but then I just felt good that I have made this decision.

I look forward to the day where I LOVE to have my picture taken!! :biggrin:

Day 1 of Trying to Prepare

Thursday, November 12, 2009

As I have mentioned previously, I have my first visit with the Lap Band surgeon on Tuesday. I'm self pay, so I'm hoping to schedule the procedure as early as possible in 2010.

That said, I have been on a bender lately. I haven't been binging or anything like that, but I have been just eating whatever I want and I haven't been exercising a lot. I was holding steady at my "highest weight ever" through May of this year. Then, I quit smoking. Don't get me wrong...YAY! Completely quit. Done. Finito. However, the 15-20 pounds I have gained since then have just been horrible. I am uncomfortable like I have never been before. I am actually changing what I do because of my weight. Unacceptable!

But...when it comes to food, I think..."I better enjoy this since I'm not going to get it after I'm banded!" Bad! And when it comes to exercise, I've gotten to the point where my feet hurt, my knees hurt and I'm just so freaking out of shape. Pathetic! I have been Jazzercising regularly for 6 is it even possible that I got to this point? By only going 1-2 times per week, apparently. I guess just paying for my classes doesn't actually contribute to keeping you in shape. Oops.

I stepped on the scale today and HOLY MOLY!! I am the biggest I have ever been. It's like everyday is a new record. I had had enough!

I came to work and had my bowl of cereal instead of a bagel. And we went to a salad place for lunch where I had a nice healthy veggie filled salad. Good me!

I had been back to work for 30 minutes after lunch and I was hungry. I tried to decide the ratio of stomach to head hunger. I made a goal to drink 16 oz of water and if I was still hungry in 10 minutes, I would have a 100 calorie pretzel snack. After the water and 10 minutes, I was still slightly hungry, but didn't feel my stomach was going to growl at any second. Yay for me not immediately eating more. It's a start! Although after another 20 minutes my stomach started to growl so I ate the pretzels. I ate each pretzel slowly one at a time and paused after each to assess my hunger. I also tried to take a big drink of water in between each pretzel (which I know you aren't supposed to do when your banded, so maybe that is the wrong strategy.)

I really want to try and learn to disguish the head/stomach hunger. I'm afraid that I will get banded and still be "hungry" all the time.

I know I'm not going to be perfect between now and band day. But maybe I can at least get started.

I KNOW that the band is not magic and it will still be hard after. But I just keep thinking that it will be a wonderful tool to help me make it less hard than it is now.

Keep on keeping on.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Although I haven't been banded, I attended my first support group meeting yesterday. The people there were amazing and gave me so much confidence that I'm making the right choice. I decided that it is full speed ahead!

My first doctor's visit is next Tuesday and honestly, I can't wait! I know that there are going to be frustrations and struggles. And I certainly know that not everyday is going to be rainbows and daisies. However, I will be DOING something. I am ready.

Since I'm self-pay, I wonder how soon I will be able to do it. I will certainly do anything that my doctor requires or suggests, but I suspect I won't have to go through months of anything like some insurances require.

I'm looking forward to meeting with the nutritionist. On every diet I've had, my goal was to figure out how I could eat as much as possible with the diet's calorie/fat/point/etc. limitation because I was always SO hungry. It is almost unreal to think that I would be able to eat a child's portion lunch and be satisfied. I have to reprogram my entire mindset!!

I've started the small bite and chewing process now. It is quite a bit harder than I thought, but I think it will help me to practice.

I'm crossing my fingers that I found out WHEN on Tuesday!!

I won't miss the chafing!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I wore a skirt yesterday and Lord Almighty, my inner thighs are paying for it! If I am blessed to lose a lot of weight in this process that is one thing I'm definitely NOT going to miss!!

What scares me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It has been interesting to me to realize that I'm not scared of the food regimen. I know it will be no picnic and there will be times that I will be so frustrated I won't see straight, but I also know that is what I need.

What is making me nervous is more medical. I have narrowed it down to three main issues.

1. I'm concerned that I will always be thinking of this foreign thing inside me. I was at Jazzercise the other day doing crunches and I wondered if I would be able to do the same thing with the port in place. I know people have run marathons and such after being banded so I feel sure there isn't any exercise restriction once healed, but it is something I need to know. I have to be sure that I can be okay with living with this. I have a small fear that I will end up doing NOTHING because I will be so nervous about messing up my band.

2. Lap band seems relatively new and I'm concerned that we don't fully know the long term effects. What happens 20 years from now?

3. What if I mess up and have to go to the hospital? I think I'm quite responsible, but it seems that you can't always control everything. I'm concerned that something will get stuck and I will have to go to the hospital where they know very little. I'm concerned that I will do something stupid (like eat the wrong thing or too much) and it will kill me.

I have my initial meeting with doctor in a couple of weeks and will ask him about these things. But I was interested to see what you all have to say?

I know that without a doubt, doing nothing will lead me to bad health and sadness. I start feeling guilty because I "should" just diet already and lose the weight I need to lose. But I've tried numerous times with varied success and I know that in the long run I can't do it on my own.

Everyday I feel more and more confident that Lap Band is the right choice for me. I just have to get myself right with my concerns.


Monday, November 2, 2009

After reading many stories on Lap Band Talk, I thought all weekend about what exactly caused me to choose this path now.

At the beginning of this year, my doctor put me on Topomax as a weight-loss drug. That isn't its standard intention, but there has been some good results with it. Unfortunately, I had a bad reaction to the drug and that combined with stress made my anxiety shoot through the roof. February-April is kind of a haze for me. By June, although I had gained 15 pounds, the doctors had determined that I was quite healty (for an obese person) and that made my anxiety go away.

Now what? I went on a trip with my friend and the airplane ride was so uncomfortable. During the trip she also mentioned that my CPAP mask was making noise through the night. I think I had gained enough weight that my CPAP was no longer effective. It did explain why I was so tired all the time. That was when I started thinking about Lap Band. Although I still felt that I wasn't "that fat".

My friends and I have a monthly dinner group that has been meeting regularly since 2004. Each month we take a picture of the group at whichever restaurant we choose. At this particular dinner, I knew with the way we were seated, the picture wouldn't be very flattering of me. When I looked at the picture I could hardly control the sob. I excused myself and went to the restroom before I made a scene. Once composed, I came back out and my wonderful friends had figured it out and suggested a new picture without making me feel horrible. I love my friends. But I knew now that I was indeed "that fat".

My friend & I scored free tickets to the Mavericks game. They were excellent tickets and I was on the end of the row. However, the end wasn't open, it was at a fence-like wall. I was so cramped and uncomfortable. I didn't want to be there and I knew that I would probably not do it again. There it was. I was making decisions about what to do (and more importantly, what I wouldn't do) because of my weight.

I never wanted to be the person that sits at home because I'm more comfortable there than getting out into the world. But that is exactly what I am becoming.

I struggle EVERYday with my weight. My feet hurt, I don't sleep well, and my blood pressure & cholesterol are rising. I MUST lose weight. If I am going to struggle this way, I should do it in a way that is going to get some results. That is why for me.

Starting out...

Friday, October 30, 2009

I have been researching Lap Band for a few months now. I have had the initial consultation and learned that my insurance will not cover. I am still moving forward and have my initial meeting with my doctor on 11/17. Since I am paying for the procedure myself, I will need to wait until 2010 to take advantage of my company's flex med program. That will at least help with some of the cost.

I am keeping my mind open in case something comes along that makes me realize that this is not for me. However, I believe that I have done enough research to know most of the costs and benefits.

I am 35 and single so the decision is my own. My parents know I'm thinking of it and support me completely. My friends, although skeptical, realize they have no idea what I'm going through and will stand by my decision.

I have noticed that people who are active in a lap band community seem to be successful overall, so I have determined that I should try.

I'm not a writer by nature, but I think logging my experience (if only for myself) can only help. I have a long way to go, so the next few months will only be prep.
My motto for now: Prayers and preparation!