Saturday, July 11, 2009

Second Fill/Adjustment

On Thursday I had my second fill. I was a lot less nervous about going in this time. I was a little worried about my weight loss because I have been steady at the 30 pound loss for a few weeks now. I jumped on the scale as usual and the nurse was pleasantly surprised by my weight loss which was a relief to me. I was beginning to think that I was losing at a slower rate then I should be. Blood pressure was fine so that was good, not that I was worried about it this time. She asked me how things have been going and I proudly let her know that I have had NO issues with eating, seriously not one. I have had no PB’s……
*** side note*** I finally found out what a PB is: it stands for “Productive Burp” I guess they call it that because that is exactly what happens… you burp and it produces what you just ate… YUCK!
My nurse still seemed surprise that this hasn’t happened yet and again reminded me that the tighter the band gets the more common it will happen. I am still on my mission to prove her wrong! Unfortunately I forgot my food diary on the counter so I didn’t have it with me. The nurse seemed more concerned about it then the Dr did. She let me know that as long as I was losing it could slide this time but to be sure to bring it next time. I think to myself “why so the Dr can flip through it not even reading it?” But I will do as I am told. I was really curious about if I was on track as far as weight loss goes so I asked my nurse if I was where they wanted me to be in regards to what I have lost so far. She told me that I was exactly what they would hope for. The goal is to lose between 4-8 pounds a month and I am exactly in that range. She also told me that she was surprised I lost anything after the first fill because a lot of people do plateau on the first one. I can relate since I have been at the same weight for a few weeks now but luckily I lost enough up front to make up for the recent lag. I have to admit that I am sure I could have lost more but my workouts have seemed to be dying off. I just haven’t been able to get back into a good routine yet. I tried doing more stuff outside and at home so I wouldn’t be stuck in the gym on nice days but I have found that I am not very good at staying consistent with that. So I guess it is back to the gym for me. The Dr came in next and shot me up full of saline. I felt that crazy gurgling feeling again… so weird; I don’t think I will get used to this. He then gave me some very sad news. He is moving to Portland at the end of August. At first I was happy for him because it sounded like a great deal for him but then it hit me… Wait a second; I get all my appointments free for the first year. I asked him if the new doctor I will need to go to will honor that and he said I don’t think so you will have to pay for your adjustments. What the *@#%!!! He played it off that he was doing “the right thing” by not making his patients pay for the first year but when we all know that he has to include that money in the price we pay up front. I left the office thoroughly annoyed that I will now have to come up with more money and find another doctor. It is definitely worth all the trouble to be able to lead a healthy life but seriously come on! At least I have one more free appointment with him before he moves. And with any luck this next fill will be perfect where I will only need to eat three small meals a day and not feel hungry between meals. If I get to that “sweet spot” as I have heard so many people call it, I won’t have to go in for another fill so quickly. I can really feel a difference this time with the band it definitely feels tighter then the last time

Friday, June 12, 2009

The first fill

Ok so yesterday was the big “first fill”. I was so nervous going in I thought for sure my blood pressure would be through the roof. Once I got to the Dr Office I followed normal procedure and stood on the scale and then inside to get my blood pressure taken. Luckily everything was fine with my blood pressure and it was completely normal. The nurse started explaining to me what was going to happen and asked if I had any questions. I told her I was very nervous and she told me not to worry that it didn’t hurt at all. I told her that I wasn’t afraid of the pain but having it too tight and throwing up. She began to explain to me that Dr Cahn normally starts out slow and then progresses into more tightness later on so not to worry now but it could happen in the future. Ummm thanks? She then proceeded to tell me that everyone “BP’s” (I have no idea what this stands for but it is what everyone refers to when they throw back up their food) that has a lap band and that I would get used to it after a while. I am thinking to myself this sounds crazy who wants to get used to that and then say it is completely normal??? Not me! I have a goal to not be a part of the norm; we will see how that goes. I asked the nurse if I would know something was stuck and I was going to “BP” and she said normally you have some warning; pain in your chest the feeling that you have to keep swallowing and nothing goes down. But then she said sometimes there is no warning; you could bend over to get something and ooops your food is back in your mouth...... GROSS!!! This is not ok with me. I was done for my education in this particular topic for the day so I just stopped asking questions and she told me the Dr would be in shortly.

So in comes the Dr and he asks me what I have been eating this last week. I was so proud that I had been keeping track of everything so I jumped up and handed him my notebook of food entries. He in turn flipped through the pages so fast I don’t know how he read anything and says “looks great keep going” Seriously that was it? All my time I put into writing down everything and all he does is scan it..... I just don’t get it. He asks me to lay down and puts a pillow under my back so my head and feet are down farther than my belly. He asks me to pretend I am doing crunches so he can find my port. Once he found it I could barely feel the needle stick in; it was a lot like getting blood drawn just a little prick and then nothing. He explained to me that he would have to push the saline in and then draw it back a few times to get rid of all the air bubbles. It was a little uncomfortable because he was pressing down pretty hard on my stomach where the port is. All of a sudden I feel this gurgling sensation in my throat..... Weirdest thing I have ever felt. I told him I could feel the saline going in and out and he said yeah that sometimes happens. Imagine the sound you hear when there are air bubbles in a hose or straw; that is what I was actually feeling in my body... creepy! Within minutes he was done. Immediately after he makes you drink a cup of water in one gulp to make sure it isn’t too tight. So he hands me the cup and I just stare it for a moment and ask him if I really had to drink it all in one gulp.... he said yup it is just like taking a shot..... I closed my eyes and chugged it down praying that nothing would come back up. Immediately he asked how I felt I said I think fine but maybe I needed to wait a minute. He assured me that if it was coming back it would already be here. So I guess things are good. Next appointment is in 30 days. I am sure I will need to post something before then so until next time...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hello Solids

Finally some real food! Well as you may have guessed I have made it through to eating real food just in time for my first fill this Thursday…yikes. Things are going much smoother now. It is nice to be able to actually chew my food instead of just swallowing it. I am still having some trouble gauging my portion sizes. My mind definitely thinks that I can eat more than my stomach does. Even when I am starving I will grab a normal (well my normal) portion of food and end up only eating a few bites then I am done. I think it is really going to take some time for my mind to catch up with my stomach. I have experimented with bread and luckily, or unluckily depending on how you look at it, I have not had any issues. I almost hoped that I would be one of those people that couldn’t eat bread without throwing it back up because that would keep me away from it. But no, for right now I have no issues not even a little pain or discomfort; that all may very well change when I get my first fill so we will see. I have started exercising again and that has been nice. For as much as I wanted to go back to the gym I am having a hard time staying motivated every day to go. I am thinking that it is just like when I first started working out… hard for the first few weeks then gets easier.

My weight is bouncing back between a pound every day it seems like. This was to be expected and I haven’t let it bother me too much. I am really trying not to focus so much on the scale as I do other things like how my clothes fit. Speaking of my clothes I am now officially able to take off my “jeans right out of the dryer” without unbuttoning them!!! They are getting pretty baggy and after one wear I have to wash and dry again because otherwise I look a little silly with baggy bottoms. I am not complaining one bit but I am also not ready to go out and buy new clothes yet. I don’t want to spend a lot of money just to wear something for a while and then have to buy new again(I am thinking positive here) So until these jeans literally fall off my body with no help I am just going to have to deal with baggy pants. I have received a lot of compliments from people that I work with about how they can see a difference already so that is encouraging as well.

I am getting a little scared for my first fill on Friday. It is such a guessing game as to how much to fill it and the worst that can happen is they fill too much and I end up throwing up. I do not take this lightly because as you may have been able to tell I HATE throwing up. To help my doctor understand how much he needs to put in I have had to write down everything I have been eating, my exercise amount and my weight everyday for a week before my fill. I am not taking any chances so I am writing EVERYTHING down. I have just a few more days of solids before I have to go back to liquids for a short time so I am enjoying it while I can. Lots of chicken and vegetables in my diet but it is not so bad when you haven’t had it for a long time. I will update more after my appointment on Thursday to let you all know how it goes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bring on the mushies!

I just had my three week post op appointment on Thursday and everything is great. The best news of all is I have graduated to mushies and soft foods!!!!! I get to eat more things of substance like cottage cheese, eggs, and fish. I can’t tell you how excited I am to start getting back to eating somewhat normal. After two weeks I can start introducing “real” foods one by one for about 4 days and then I get my first fill. My doctor asked me to write everything down that I eat a week before I have my first fill so he knows how much saline to put in. I guess this makes sense because if I am able to eat a lot then he would put more saline in to make it tighter to help me eat less. I am getting a little nervous for that first fill because I have successfully gone this long without throwing up and I hear when you get your first fill it takes a little bit to get adjusted to how much will actually fit in there. But, I have a few more weeks until that time. I told my doctor it is a little unfair to finally get to eating real foods and then immediately have to go back to liquids… you see once you have your fill you have to go back on liquids for 48 hours. I think it is a little bit of a tease but oh well.

I was getting a little frustrated that I am still holding steady at the 20 pound weight loss but when I talked to my nurse she said that most people don’t even lose weight for the first 6 weeks it is more about healing the body then losing the weight. She also told me that once I got my first fill I should start seeing the pounds come off more steadily so that is encouraging. I also got the ok to start working out again YAY! I think that I should start seeing some decrease in weight come back when I start going to the gym after work again.

The hardest thing now is understanding portion control. I still have it in my mind that I can eat a lot more then I actually can. I thought for sure the other night that I could eat a small can of soup with no problem because I was starving. Halfway through I couldn’t eat another bite. It just amazes me because before surgery I could have eaten a whole large can of soup all by myself with crackers and cheese and not be stuffed. It is such a mental thing to get around. But going back to the whole throwing up thing I am being very careful not to overdue. I need to make my grocery list because a lot of stuff that I can eat these next two weeks I don’t have. My fridge looks pretty bare since all I was able to eat before was pudding, jello, and yogurt. I don’t think I will be having pudding for some time now I can’t even think about it anymore. I will keep you all posted on how the mushies are coming along and how my first week back to the gym goes! Wish me luck

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Two Weeks Post Op

Two weeks post op and 20 pounds down! I am feeling almost 100% back to normal. I have two issues….. I thought this whole shoulder pain after surgery only was supposed to happen within the first week after surgery but I was WAY wrong. I didn’t have any shoulder pain from the gas they blow up your stomach with before surgery during the first week and I thought I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to experience it. Week two comes around and BAM crazy shoulder pain in my left shoulder. It seems to be the worst when I get up from laying or sitting down. Walking is supposed to help get it all out faster but I will tell you what walking makes the pain more intense. The second issue I have is that after sitting for a long period of time when I stand up I feel like it is the day after I did a major stomach crunch workout. All of my muscles in my stomach cramp up and feel all tight. There is really no way to get around this one. I sit almost all day for my job on conference calls so I do my best to try and stand up every once in awhile.
The only sore spot I have is where my port is located. It is not an unbearable soreness just kind of a throbbing pain sometimes. I am told that this pain takes a little longer to go away. The liquid diet sucks! I am craving every type of food especially red meat. I am even craving stuff I don’t even like which is really weird. The other day someone brought Mexican food into my office area and I literally thought I was going to start crying at my desk. I had a moment on Mother’s Day where I had a few wheat thin crackers with spinach dip and a small piece of cheesecake. I was very careful to chew everything to a liquefied stage before swallowing and I didn’t have any problems. I get very frustrated that just like the pre-op diet the post-op diet varies by doctor. I should just stop reading blogs and websites because I just get so frustrated that there is such a difference. My Dr says that you are on liquids for the first three weeks. These liquids can be anything you can get through a straw so water, protein drinks, sugar free jello, sugar free pudding, sugar free popsicles, yogurt, and broth soup. When you get to the second phase you get to eat pureed foods like mashed potatoes, soft cooked eggs, anything you can put into a blender, applesauce. This stage is two weeks and then you can transition into soft foods and eventually regular foods. Most people look at the liquid diet and think great it is like getting your tonsils out. People this is NOT FUN. One can only have so much pudding and yogurt in a day before you just can’t take it anymore. The mental part of this is really difficult. I just keep taking it one day at a time. I have learned from other diets the more you deprive yourself of the things you want the worse off you are because I end up binging on those foods. I know that I need to stick to what the Dr says and for the most part I am but I also know that I would be worse off denying myself a small bite of something and binging on a bunch stuff later. I am so ready to get back into the gym and workout. I never thought that I would say that but I really do miss it. I meet with the Dr next Thursday so hopefully he will give me the go ahead to start working out again.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

3 days post op

So it is now 3 days post op and I am still a little loopy so I will try to you all up on what’s been happening the last few days……
Thursday was surgery day! I got to the hospital right at 6:00am as instructed and they immediately escorted me to pre-op. I had to go by back myself to get dressed in the robe and get my IV put in. I had this really crazy nurse that just had eye surgery and kept singing “Layla”(I assure you I was not on any drugs yet at this time). My anesthesiologist walked in and gave me the run down but as soon as he said his name I immediately recognized him. I asked him if he also gave epidurals for women having babies and he said yes. I told him that he was there when my daughter was born… so weird but somewhat comforting. They gave me the happy juice through my IV and the world started getting hazy but I still think I was pretty coherent. I remember talking to my mom how the feeling was like being perfect drunk; where your legs just start get tingle and you know you should stop but you never do. I remember being wheeled down the hall and listening to the nurse say “I hope this doesn’t take too long the baby is sitting on my bladder” to the other nurse. The last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist saying to breath deep a few times and think of my favorite vacation spot…. Then I was out.
I woke up in recovery with this terrible nurse trying to already get me out of bed (I am sure I was in there already for a little while but seriously I didn’t even have my eyes open yet) I remember telling her no and that the other nurse said I could stay 5 hours and my mom laughing. That nurse finally gave up and left. I was in and out a lot and finally I got my eyes to stay open for 10 min but the new nurse never came so I gave up again. I don’t know how much time passed but I was finally able to get up and use the restroom so I got to go home. I don’t remember much of the first nice other then my mom pumping me full of pain medicine. Friday I felt a little better so I attempted to drink some apple juice…. Bad idea…. As soon as I took my pain medicine I threw up. And this was not the kind you hear about where it doesn’t come from your stomach; oh no this was full on stomach and man did it hurt bad. I finally got home from my parents on Sat. I felt awful that whole day because I didn’t want to try my pain medicine in fear that I would throw up. I finally gave in at 9pm and fell right to sleep. Today I felt a little better. I was able to take a shower but that took a lot out of me. I am not able to sit up for very long without feeling like I have a brick in my stomach. I have a lot of back pain and I am sick of lying down. I am supposed to go back to work on Wed but I am really not sure if I will be up for it yet. I still have two days to think about it. I am on an all liquid diet that doesn’t seem to be too hard yet for the next three weeks. Well I can’t stand to type anymore I will try to write more in a few days.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Here I go....

Well I am less than 12 hours away from my surgery! I went to the Dr yesterday for the dreaded weigh in and let me tell you it was quit anticlimactic. First of all as soon as I got in the nurse headed for the scale as usual and she asked how things were going. I told her that I knew where I was as far as weight loss so I wouldn’t be surprised by the number. She looked at the scale and said “10 pounds good job.” That was it nothing about how I didn’t make the 15 pound goal that was asked of me just “good job.” After she took my vitals she said the Dr would be in soon and asked if everything else was going ok. I told her that I was worried about not meeting my 15 pound goal and she said “oh don’t worry about that you still have a couple of days before surgery.” In my head I am thinking there is no way that I will be able to lose 5 pounds in 2 days. And then she continued saying “you still lost 10 so that is good.” The Dr came in and took one look at my chart and said “looks like you lost 10 pounds good job.” It appears that everything went good with the diet.” Again, nothing in regards to the fact that I didn’t make the number that was expected. I was too busy thinking to myself about why they were not making a bigger deal about this then I thought that they would I didn’t get a chance to even ask why they gave me that number in the first place.
After my 10 minute appointment I was sent upstairs to get pre-registered. I have not gone through this process before so I had no idea what I was even going there to do. Basically they do all the prep work that usually happens in the hospital before surgery. They took all my vitals, went over my medical history, went over the million things that they have to cover, and then I was done. The whole process took about a little over an hour. Doing this beforehand allows me to walk in tomorrow and get my little wrist band and head straight to pre-op which is pretty nice not to have to wait around for a few hours before surgery. So the plan for tomorrow is I have to be the hospital at 6am…ugh surgery time is at 730am(first surgery of the day YAY) I do get to shower beforehand but I can’t wear any lotion, deodorant, hair products, or makeup. I am going to be one hot tired mess in the morning. Luckily the plan is to just sleep the rest of the day so I am not too worried. I probably won’t be functioning too much until Sat so I will post about my experience as soon as I can. Wish me luck!