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Before & After
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Latest Surgery Support Comments
Well, I haven't ever posted an update on myself or let anyone know how I am doing, so I figured better to start late than never. I find reading people's profiles so beneficial. I will try to go back and remember as much as I can.
In August, I had heard about a woman that had the Lap-Band. She was losing weight and feeling great. For me, RNY was not an option. I had talked to a friend of mine and she kinda talked me out of any weight loss surgery. I put it in the back of my mind for the time being. Well, I talked to her again in the middle of September. Guess what, SHE was going to have the Lap-Band. When I heard this I didn't know what to say!! It was something I wanted but like a jerk listened to her!! She said that she had done some more research and decided to go through with it. That very same day, I called around and got a consultation. It was for 2 weeks later.
I had my consultation with Dr. Alan Geiss on October 12. He was the nicest man I have ever met. I felt comfortable with him from the minute I met him. His office staff is great and always available. I called and asked a million questions and everyone was great! At the consultation, Dr. Geiss told me I was a perfect candidate. He also gave me a list of other doctors I had to see for medical clearance.
I had bloodwork to check my thyroid I had to have an Upper GI I had to see a cardiologist I had to see a pulmonologist I had to see a psychologist I had to see a nutritionist I had to go to a monthly support group given by the doctor All of these things were very easy to complete and by Nov. 15, I was given a surgery date of Dec. 13.
Everything was totally in order and I was on my way to becoming a "bandster!" As the date was getting closer and closer, I was getting more and more nervous. I am the type of person who is afraid of any type of needle or even the fact of being in a doctors office!!
My family and friends were sooo supportive! They kept reminding me that this is something I wanted to do for myself and I would be happy the minute I woke up from surgery! The day before surgery, I woke up with a migraine. I don't get them too often, but when I do, they are reallllly bad. I wasn't able to get out of bed or look at any sort of light. My mom made me broth and I couldn't stand the smell of it. I just tried to go to sleep so I could wake up and feel fine before I went in for surgery. At 2:00 in the morning, I woke up and got extremly ill. As soon as I got sick, I felt a lot better. By the time we had to leave the house, I felt so much better. I drove to the hospital as to keep my mind occupied with the road because I knew that I would have been second guessing myself if I was the passenger! When we got to the hospital, I started hysterical crying. Here I was, a 24 year old with her mother and best friend by her side...in tears!! I got the hospital bracelet and was taken upstairs to the waiting room. I was only in there for a few minutes when they called me in the back to get changed into the hospital gown. At this point, I was really nervous and scared. As soon as I was dressed, they brought me to my bed and started my IV. I was ok up till here.
Then they brought my mom and my friend in and I got really nervous. As it turned out, the woman who had surgery right before me, Lois, took longer than expected. I got into surgery at 1:00 and was in the recovery room by 2:10. I got the "happy drugs" before I was wheeled in, but they didn't have much of an effect on me. I still remember being wheeled in and I remember getting myself onto the operating room table. They put stockings on my legs to prevent blood clots. They also gave me nice warm blankets because it was cols in there. After that, they came at me with the mask and said, "ok, go on vacation and take all of us with you!" That was the last thing I remember until I was woken up. When the nurse woke me up, my main concern was what time it was!! Don't ask me why, but I must have asked her 5 times!! When they wheeled me into recovery, I remember feeling so happy it was done, and now I was going to be on the losing side!!
About an hour later my mom, aunt and friend were let in to see me. I remember the nurses telling me to get some sleep, but for some reason, I wasn't tired at that point. I would sleep for a few minutes, and then the next minute, I was wide awake! When they came to see me, I remember talking to them and being so happy they were there. They kept telling me how proud of me they were. It made me feel so good. At this point I didnt have much pain, but I told the nurse I did and they came and gave me a shot of demeral. I was afraid of feeling the pain, so anytime they offered drugs, I took them. I stayed in bed all day and didn't get up until about 1:30 in the morning when they took my catheter out. Most people don't get one, but I was soo glad I did. I couldn't imagine having to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. I was so dizzy when they made me get up and start walking around. I only went around once. The woman next to me was freezing and asked for additional blankets, where as I asked for a wet towel to put on my neck because I was sweating.
The next morning, I went for my barium swallow and was releived to find out that they do them while you are standing up!! Everything was fine and I was released as soon as that was done. I did however go back to my room and sat in the chair for awhile. I wasn't prepared to leave at that point. I couldn't imagine having to go sit in the car. I didn't want to go in the wheelchair, so I walked down with the nurse. My mom pulled the car right to the curb and I got right in! As soon as we got home, I felt a little better. My mom took the best care of me!! If it wern't for her I don't know how I would have gotten through everything. She was there to do everything! Like I said before, I am a baby! I know lots of people who are home the same day and doing wonderfully. I also know people who are back to work within 2 days. I have to say, it took me about 13days in order to feel PERFECT again. I still was a little sore on my side and to get in a chair and get out still irritated me. Right now, I dont even think about it anymore. It feels as though I didn't have anything done at all. The only reminders I have are my tiny scars which are already getting a lot lighter.
I had a lot of visitors those first few days which was great because it kept my mind occupied! I had surgery on a Monday and the following Monday I was back to work. I have a desk job, so I was totally fine. I went Christmas Shopping 5 days later and I was ok. The next day I went and got my nails done and I went to my friends house for a bit. I have to say the recovery was easy. I really know this is the best decision I had ever made.
I went for my first fill on January 27. They filled me to 1.5cc. I didn't feel much restriction with that. As soon as I was able to eat more solids, I felt so much better. I made sure I got in my protein. I went for my second fill on February 23. They filled me this time to 2.0cc. I still didn't feel anything. They say it takes some people more than others to reach their "sweet spot." This brings us to present. Today is March 30 and I had my third fill this morning. I am now filled to 2.5cc. I am hoping that this fill kicks in and I will be in the rapid weight loss stage!! I go to my surgeon's monthly support group. It is for people pre and post op. I have met some of the most wonderful people at the meetings. I keep in touch with a bunch of people and we all update one another on everything. I feel so much better going to the meetings because sometimes it is hard to talk to people about how I feel when they don't know exactly what I feel like. Everyone at the meeting has been through something similar.
I have to share a story about what happened when I went for my fill today. I am down a total of 45 pounds now and I feel wonderful about it. I was talking to Dr. Geiss in the hallway and Dr. Powers and one of the receptionists were sitting close to us. Dr. Powers interrupted us and said that he just had to comment on how wonderful I look. I love the fact that the doctors remember who I am and are so genuine. It made me feel wonderful when I walked out of there. The doctor said he is very happy with my progress. He said Keep up the good work, and I totally intend to! While I was there, Melanie who did my fill, gave me an article. It says, a daily two mile leisurely, continuous walk will usually lead to between thirty and forty pounds of muscle gain and over 100 pounds of fat loss in one year! This is my new challenge for myself. I am going to walk those two miles at least five times a week. I want to see these pounds fall off! I hope by July 30, which is when I will be a maid-of-honor, I can lose an additional 50 pounds. That would put me down 95 pounds in 7 months! I am going to try my absolute hardest!! April 4, 2005 Just a little update! Well, this past weekend (April 1-3) I went to Atlantic City. I had such a great time. The best part was that I am down 45 pounds and have so much more self esteem. I don't see the weight loss so much when I look in the mirror, but I feel 100 times better. I felt great in my new clothes and got lots of compliments. I have to say this band is my best friend! My only problem is that we went out for chinese food, and I had to run to the bathroom after I took a few bites. It didn't want to stay down. I got kinda scared, but then I ate much slower and I was fine.
April 12, 2005 Just got some bad news. I called my insurance company because I had been denied my claims for surgery. They stated that in my APPROVAL letter, that there was a clause. This clause stated that the surgery would be covered as long as I complied with the policy. I work in a small office and never even received an insurance policy. When they checked in the system, they told me that for a pre-existing condition, I needed to wait until I was with them for 11 months before they would pay. I was not aware of this. I was with the company for 8 months. I would have waited the additional 3 months to have surgery to make sure it was covered. They were very rude to me on the phone. I also said to them that I called at least 6 times before I went in for surgery to make sure everything was fine and that I was completly covered. No one mentioned to me that in my policy was this clause. I am soooo mad now!! It seems like nothing can go smoothly!! I have to say that I am not as mad as I would have been if I were told this pre-op! Now I have my band and no one is getting it back! I lost almost 50 pounds and what a great feeling that is!! Just had to vent for a moment. I am sure I will figure something out, I always do!
May 6, 2005 Wow, I just looked here and saw I never updated you guys on my Curves mesaurements! Well, I lost 3.5 inches this month. I lost an inch in my hips, 1.5 in my waist and an inch in my thighs! I was so happy to know these inches will never come back! I LOVE MY BAND!! I also went for a fill on the 3rd. It was my 4th fill!! I saw Dr. Powers for the fill and as usual I was nervous. I HATE needles! He was excellent at calming me down. I liked that he took all of the fill out of me before adding more to it. I had never had that done before. He wanted to make sure everything that was suppossed to be in there, really was in there. I am now filled to 2.8cc. I have to say though, I do hope more of it kicks in soon because I can still eat more than I should be able to!
May 25, 2005 I don't really have anything else to update on except for a NSV! I had a dress I wore to a wedding in September 2003. I had lost about 30 pounds on Atkins and was feeling good! The dress fit beautifully. Of course I went off of Atkins and put back on the 30 plus 20 more friends! I went on a cruise 11 months later and went to pull out the dress for the Captain's night and guess what, it didn't fit! Of course I was devastated. It was a 2 piece dress that looked like a one piece. The skirt part of it wouldn't go up further than my thighs and the top part which was kinda like a corset wouldn't even come close to closing. The two parts were at least 5 inches apart. I sat on my bed and cried. How can a person gain so much weight and not realize it was my biggest question. I was beside myself! Now on to the good news! The dress became my guide. I told myself that when the dress fits I know I am on the right track. Well, I take the dress out every once in awhile and try it on. I tried it on this week and guess what!!! It is a little big on me! I don't think I have ever been so happy to have things not fit me anymore! I was so excited that I decided to take on a BIG job! I cleaned out my closet! I have quite a few garbage bags sitting in my room now waiting to be given to other people who could use them. I am thrilled to know I will never wear them again! This morning my mom came in my room and i told her to open my closet. She opened it and said, Nicole, where are all of your clothes! I said, oh, they don't fit anymore :-) What an awesome feeling! Gotta make room for all the smaller clothes that will be filling my closet soon enough!
June 2, 2005 These past few weeks have not been sooo wonderful! I have not had a feeling of restriction and it was worrying me. I called Dr. Geiss' office yesterday and they were great. They immediately got Melanie to speak with me on the phone. I explained to her that I have had NO restriction lately. She said she didn't think it was anything, but I could come in and get a Video-Esophagram. This morning I went and had the test done. It showed that my band is in perfect place and that my pouch is fine. I was so releived because I didn't want to go in and have another surgery. I guess my mind ran away with me and I thought that my band could have slipped. I love going to Dr. Geiss' office. His staff is so wonderful. I brought pictures with me from a year ago and everyone was so impressed to see my progress. What a difference a few months can make! J
une 20, 2005 Well I guess the saying, slow and steady wins the race is true!! It gets hard to not get upset with a slow weight loss, but I have been seeing differences lately! Today a woman at Curves commented on how great I look. She said she is really able to tell I have lost a great deal of weight. Its funny how people you don't even realize notice you, make comments! I was weighed today and lost 2 more pounds!! What an amazing feeling!! I also have started feeling restriction which is an amazing thing! Its great that a little amount of food can make me feel full...I am thrilled!!!! August 1, 2005 I guess it has been a little while since I have updated here. I have been on a plateau for awhile. I have just started to get back on track. I went to the doctors office last Monday and had .2cc put into my band. I think this is making a big difference. I am finding it much harder to eat and I love it!! I also made myself a promise. I am young and go out often with friends. On occasion I have a few drinks. I decided that I am going to completly and totally cut alcohol out. I don't need to drink to go out and have a good time. I was never a drinker before, but would have a few socially. This time...no more empty calories!! I figure every few weeks, I will give up something I know I should eliminate all together. I have to start working on the carbs! I love potatoes, rice and pita bread! This fill might even kick in a little more and hopefully I won't be able to tolerate it anymore! I can't eat steak or pork chops anymore and don't even miss it! I used to eat those things at least once a month and haven't had them since February when I couldn't tolerate either! I must start going back to the gym. My body will thank me for it!!
August 8, 2005 MY FILL FINALLY KICKED IN!!!!!!! This is amazing!! I lost 6 pounds this week! I am so happy...I now know what restriction is!! I do slime a lot more now...but I have to learn when to stop eating before this happens. It takes me quite some time to eat something small. I can honestly say...I am hardly hungry anymore!! Skinny life...here I come!! August 15, 2005 This restriction is the best!! Since my fill I have lost about 12 pounds!! I am starting to see it in the mirror. How pathetic to lose 60 pounds and just begin to notice. Was I soooo fat before that I didn't notice? Hmm, so sad!! I am just thrilled to report that my fill is working!!!
October 27, 2005 I see I haven't written in awhile! A lot has been happening. I went on a cruise from Aug 28-Sept 4. The food choices on the cruise were absolutly fine. I probably ate better on the ship than I do when I am home! I was eating very balanced meals. When I came home, I went back to work the day after labor day to find a note on my desk. Thats right...A NOTE. It was a note letting me know I was being laid off. I was with the company almost 2 years and he did it in a note. That was the most insulting part. Myself and another girl who was there almost 5 years got laid off. Since then, I have been trying so hard to make better food choices. I want this weight to fall right on off! My new mini goal is to lose 40 pounds by my birthday which is in February. If I can do that, I will be so happy. Lets see..I am going to be religious with going to the gym and I am going to make the BEST possible food choices. The thing that kills me is that I am still young and always out in the bar scene. I try not to drink too much, but its kinda hard to always be the sober one. This fill still seems to be working for me. I am going to wait until I lose 35 more pounds before I go back to my surgeon. I want to be at 100 pound weight loss before I go!!