I am a single mom of 2 beautiful boys. I have been struggling with my weight almost all of my life. (Since about 10 or so yrs old.) I am ready to do somthing about it. (I think) :-/
7-18-05 (264 lbs)
I had my 1st appt with my PCP. He is writing the letter to my ins co. I am a bit nervous. I called the surgeon and I got signed up for the 1st group ("informational") meeting available which is Aug 11th. Now I am a bit more nervous. Maybe I will feel better after I hear back from the ins co.
I went to the group informational meeting tonight. It was nice to go and meet the surgeon and his staff (the nutritionists etc) but I did so much "homework" on everything, I really didnt LEARN anything. Either way it was great to go and talk to people that share the same thoughts/hopes/fears that I do. I got my packet and will start to make all of my appointments soon. (pulmonogy/psych/etc) I hope it won't take forever for everythig to get completed.
I had the Pulmonary Consult today. (Dr. Glaubiger in Enfield) It was a breeze. Luckily he said I didn't need to have a sleep study done.. (yeah, one thing off the long list of "to-do" things.) Unfortunatley he said he doesn't do the PFT test (Pulmonary Function Test) in his office, so I had to schedule another appointment to go to the hospital next Tuesday to have that done.
Today was my ultrasound. (St. Francis Medical building in Enfield)Everything looked good, but she said my liver was slighly enlarged. I was told this was common with heavy patients. She said it shouldn't be a problem.
Two appointments down and a few more to go. The nutitionist called me today to finally book that appt, and she said they were booking into October. I was like Oh My Goodness. This is seriously holding up my progress. I booked it, but begged her to call me if she had anything open up before then. She was very nice and said she would. Ten minutes later she called back and said she just got a cancellation for September. At least that is a few weeks closer. I have all the other appts (but the surgeon) booked already and should be all done next week. (I was told by the office you need to have all the other appts done before the consult w/ the surgeon and that is the final appt before you get a surgery date.
I had my PFT today. (Johnson Memorial Hospital) Boy was that exciting. I was dizzy by the time I left the hospital with all that breathing in and out, and faster and slower, and hold it....etc...... heehee. One more notch in my pre-op belt. Yeah!
My psych. evaluation was today. It was WAY less invasive than I had originally thought it would be. If anyone is looking for a great psychologist, contact Michele Krynski, PhD, in Bloomfield. She was absolutely wonderful. She was very easy to talk to. I thought I was going to be very intimidated for a straight hour and then get a "failed" grade at the end of the appointment, but it was nothing like that. I am so glad I found her. I thought it was going to be much worse as I have heard others say. I have contact info if anyone else wants to use her.
I had my follow up vist with Dr. Krynski today. We went over the report she has to fax over the Dr. Barba. She did a wonderful 4 page report stating I am a good candidate for the Lap Band procedure. YES!
Now if I could just get into the nutritionist a bit sooner, we could get the ball rolling. I am done with everything else as of today.
9-20-05 (260 lbs) ?
I met with Judy (nutritionist) for the 1st time today. She is lovely and very easy to deal with. It was a quick and painless meeting, we went over where I need help in my deit. Amazingly enough I have lost a couple of lbs since my last visit to the doctors. She said to try to lose another 2 lbs when I see her for my last visit in about 3 weeks. October 14th, I will be done with everything !!! Yeah!
(Also had all my lab work done while I was at the hospital too. Luckily enough I hadn't had anything to eat before I went to see her and you had to be fasting. She said you can do it now if you want to. I was like, YES MA'AM! So that's done too.)
Judy called regarding my blood work today. She said my B12 was alarmingly low. She told me to make an appt with my PCP ASAP to a B12 injection, and then told me to get B12 suplingial supplements too. They dissolve under your tongue.
So I called my PCP right away and got an appt for tomorrow for a shot.
I went to my PCP to get my B12 shot today. It was a piece of cake. A quick little needle in my arm, and it was all over. He gave me an order to have my B12 level checked again in 2 weeks. I also got my B12 supplements too, YUCKY! The taste is gross, but I know they are making me healthy, so it's not so bad, considering.
10-14-05 (256 lbs)
Had my 2nd appt with Judy (nutritionist) today. I have done well with my weight loss. I have lost more than I needed to. (yeah) Now that I know a little more about what is good for you and bad for you, I have to admit, its a bit easier than I originally thought. She had me fill out the paperwork to get my consult with Dr Barba. :) Also had my blood re-tested and my B-12 is now in the normal range.
Jessica called to book my appt with Dr Barba today. I see him on Dec 1st. I cant believe I actually am actually moving forward. I asked her how far out the actually surgery will be booked. She said December like I was crazy for asking. (which I may have to actually move back a bit, since I am in the process of buying a house, and I cant move right before or after surgery) Figures! We'll see.
I saw Dr. Barab today. He is very calming. He took the time to answer all my questions. It went rather smooth and very quickly, as I dont really have any health problems. He said I needed to have an endoscopy which I am very nervous about, (I have never had anesthesia before) and then asked when I wanted my surgery. I have 2 kids, so I wanted it after Christmas, and on a Wednesday so I would only have to take 3 days off from work. So he left the room for 2 mins. and came back in w/ 2 dates. 12-16-05 is the endoscopy and 1-11-06 is the surgery. WOW! I cant believe this is really happening.
Oh and I met Jessica. She is so wonderful and nice. You could never tell that little skinny minny was heavy at one point. She showed me her before pictures. What a difference, she looks wonderful and I told her so. Thanks again Jessica for being so nice and for offering e-mail support too !!! I am sure I am the biggest nervous nelly you have ever met.
Had the endoscopy today. I would do that again in a second. I was all worried about nothing. (thanks to all the people who offered me comfort before hand, especially Jessica and Deb :-) They brought me back into the room, put in my IV, had me talk to the nurse and the anesthesiologist since I was so scared, and then wheeled me back to the "procedure room" and Dr. Barba was there and said I will just have you sign this, and then the needle went into my IV. (I was so scared to be put into the "twilight" sleep) I dont even remember finishing signing my last name. He told me not to worry and I would be fine and the next thing I knew, my support person was waking me up in the recovery room. I didnt even feel like I had anything done. A YUCKY taste in my mouth, and a tiny bit of a scratchy throat, but that was it. I was like WOW are they really done.
I have to go in on the 30th for the pre-surgery class, and then the big day is 1-11-06. YES!!!!!
12-30-05 (260 lbs)
I went in for the "pre-surgery" class today. Piece of cake. Basically it was a review of the last nutrition class. But it was nice that the nurse went through everything we can extect to happen the day of surgery.
I gained 4 lbs. GREAT! I told her I wont even lie, I have been eating everything in sight. My mom is really sick in the hospital and I just bought the house. I havent been able to watch my calories at all. It's one of the last things on my mind lately.
I was asked if I wanted to re-schedule the surgery, I told her lets play it by ear.
My mother passed away yesterday. (unexpectedly) I re-scheduled my surgery, for the next available Wednesday that the office had, which was 2-1-06.
1-25-06 (262.4 lbs)
Well...today is the 1st day of my liquid diet! YUCK! These damn Impact Advanced Recovery shakes are so gross. I dont have any idea how the hell I am going to do this for a freakin' week. I am drinking vanilla today, but I hear chocolate is better. I will try that one tomorrow.
I am going to kill someone if I cant eat anything for 5 more days. I cant stomach these shakes anymore and I dont do chick broth being a vegetarian. I put in a call to the nutritionist and please call me back with alternatives. I hear lots of people say they can eat and had no pre-op diet at all.
Later same day....
Judy called me back and faxed me a Ketotic diet. Its basically some protein/fruits/veggies, and very very low carb/sugar/cals. She sad as long as I stay under 1000 cals a day its okay if I eat healthy very low fat/carb foods and no sugar. I wanted to kiss her.
1-31-06 (253.4 lbs)
I did all my pre-op measurements and pictures with my sister tonight. I am all ready for tomorrow! (I think :-/)
As much as I hated writing all the crap down, it will be an awesome reward to look back on it when I am so much more healthy!
2-1-06 (253.4 lbs.)
Well, I am a big fat LOSER!!! YES!!! I did it. (The anesthesia & all!!!)
Everything went right according to plan. I went in, I had the IV put in, the blood work done, talked to the anesthesiologist, the nurse anesthesis, and the residents that work under the surgeon. The next thing I knew I was being wheeled to the O.R. Could this be real I am thinking. I cant actaully be going to get this surgery that I have worked so damn long for. It cant actually be time for this, can it??? Yup it was. We turned the corner, and like I was not nervous enough, there were about 12 people all dressed up in scrubs and masks. I was like oh my god. My heart was pounding. I have terrible anxiety already. I was like studdering.... "the doctor told me if I wanted something to relax me just ask and I could have it." I was told we were getting ready to start and I would be put to sleep soon. I thought I was going to faint. The nurse anesthesis was there and told the other nurse I am just going to give her a "little taste". She put something into my IV. I started getting lightheaded. I thought to myself, oh god am I making the right decision. The last thing I said was.....You guys arent going to let anything happen to me right??? I had the best woman holding my hand. I wish I knew who she was. She said honey, if it makes you feel any better I am a bariatric survivor, you will be fine. Then next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery room in pain and very nauseaus. I made a funny face as I felt like if I opened my mouth I would vomit. The nurse was right there with me. She said whats wrong Bree. I put my hand over my stomach and my mouth. She said pain???? I nodded my head. She said nauseaus??? I nodded again. They gave me something for nausea & pain meds that were good. I fell back to sleep for a while. When I woke up I was still nauseaus. They gave me more for that and then wheeled me up to my room. I was still very sleepy. My sister was waiting in my room already. The bumps in and out of the elevator hurt and the bump going into my room. I was even more nauseas. Then they hung an IV bag to help me with that since the other 2 thigns didnt work. I was good after that.
I was then so happy, Bette came to visit me. She works right across the street from St Francis hospital. I felt so crappy when she got there. I felt so bad about having her visit me like that. But...within minutes of getting the IV bag of meds for nausea I felt better. Everyone commented that I must be feeling better. I started to joke and kid around with my company and felt pretty good. I was anxious to get up believe it or not. I didnt want to have to pee in a bed pan. I needed some help from my sister and a nurse, and couldnt use my stomach muscles, but they kind of held my hands as I kind of slid to the edge of the bed. I sat for a minute as I was a bit dizzy. Then I was fine. I got up and walked slowly to the bathroom and was fine. Not too much pain when walking, but it just felt like my stomach was so heave. I think it was because the stitches were like pulling as I stood up.
My 2 sons came later and I was walking the halls and up and smiling. The nurse came in and said to me, you look so good, I cant believe the difference in the people that have this type of surgery. She said I was like the best she has seen.
I did take my pain meds right on schedule for the rest of that day and through the night too so I wouldnt be uncomfortable.
My roommate was great and she was actually someone from my own town who I was familiar with. We have some friends in common so we have bumped into eachother at functions before over the last few years. We had a good time keeping each other company. Thanks Elisa!
The next day I was anxious to go home. As soon as the doctors came in to see how I was doing I asked if I could leave. They said I had to have my clear fluids and as long as I did well with no nausea I could go. I had tea, chicken broth & apple juice. I felt good accept for the sore incisions. I didnt really feel anything on the inside, just the wounds hurt. You have to stand and move realy slow cause every little movement feels like the stitches are pulling. I was so glad to get home. It was nice to be in my own house. I wish I could say in my own bed. I couldnt lay flat, so I liked the couch better. I had lots of pillows everywhere and I slept on a good incline.
I woke a time or two the 1st few nights to take my pain meds. but really feel pretty good. Surprisingly NOT hungry at all. Its funny to me that liquids can make me feel full. I LOVE IT!
2-8-06 (245.4 lbs)
Wow I lost 17 lbs since I started the pre-op diet!!!
I went for my 1 wk check up today. Everything looks good and I am on my way! YEAH! My 1st fill appt is on March 23rd since I wanted the earlies appt available. Its a little more far off than I had hoped, but I can do it !
3-23-06 (239 lbs)
Had my 1st fill today, (1cc.) which I am glad since the weight loss is slowing down. It went better than I thought. Dr. Barba did it himself. A little needle prick and then you couldnt even feel it when he had to move the needle around a bit under the skin to poke the port in the right spot. It was not bad at all. He had me sit up and drink water. I felt fine. He said everything was good and not to be too concerned or stressed out. Just do the best I can and its just important that I dont re-gain weight. He said I can have my next fill in 5 wks. He said that they hired a nurse practioner to help him so the fill schedule will be easier and I can get better appts. Thats good.
4-26-06 (231 lbs)
2nd fill today. It went just like the first one, but Honore did it. She had be put my hands above my head and push out my stomach a little bit. Dr. Barba didnt have me do that, but it felt the same. Not bad at all. I told her I only felt restriction for like a week or 2 after the 1st fill. She gave me .6cc's. So now I have a total of 1.6cc's. She said after the initial fill of 1cc, they usually dont do more than .6cc's at a time. I hope this one stays with me longer. My next appt is 5-31-06. She said even if I didnt feel like I needed a fill to still come in and have a check up etc.
5-17-06 (231.4 lbs)
I am feelig discouraged. I was down to like 229, and then I dont know if its a hormonal thing or what, but I feel like I want to eat everything in sight. I am up like 2 lbs. DAMN!!! I cant wait till my next fill. I thought they would last longer than they are. I would still do this again in a minute as it has helped me lose weight I couldnt lose before the surgery, but I didnt think it would feel like I am still losing the diet battle. I thought it would be a bit easier to resist and limit portions. I hope getting good restriction helps this feeling. I am doing pretty good with the gym. I try to go at least a few times a week. I do cardio everytime I go and then I throw in a machine or 2 like every other time. I hope the weight starts to come off good again after this next fill. I just hope I dont gain 50 lbs by then. I feel like I dont even have the band on at all. I can eat anything I want to. I have no foods that dont like me, like bread pasta etc. I can gulp water like a champ too. I thought I was not supposed to be able to do that. huh?!?! I hope the next fill will help!
5-31-06 (228 lbs)
Had my 3rd fill today. (with Honore again) I am up to 2.2 cc's now. I still have no problem foods (damn) and can still eat more than I am "supposed to" at this stage. I cant wait to feel what real "restriction" is. I know it will come, and the weight has begun to come off again. WHEW!!! Next appt is on 7-5.
7-5-06 (223 lbs.)
Had my 4th fill today with Honore again. She is so nice. She is so easy to talk to. I am up to 2.6 now.
It was cute, cause my daycare is closed for the holiday and I had to bring the kids with me. They were so cute and good too. My 2 yr old always likes to check the "boo-boo" on my stomach ever since I showed him the bandages in the hospital so he would be careful with Mommy. He just looks at the scars and repeats to me....."your boo-boo is all better Mommy......cause thats what I tell him. He just on his big brothers lap and watched. He was in awe. My older one (11 yrs) said Mom, that was sooo cool!!! I went over with it was going to look like before we went in there and told him it was not going to hurt me etc. I was so afraid he was going to me tramatized, but he soooo WASNT!!!
There scale is off from mine cause Rachel did my weight and then Honore came in and said I was down 7 lbs in 6 wks. Not according to my calculations, but I am sure they know better than me.
Anyways, she said since the weight is coming off good now I can go 8 wks as long as everything is going well. So my next appt is scheduled for the end of August.
7-28-06 (225 lbs according to my scale) ???
I called the doctors office to move up my fill. I think 8 wks is too long since I feel like I have NOOOO restriction. I am beginning to feel frusterated. I just thought it would be easier than this I guess. I thought I would see resulsts faster, but I am in NO way giving up. I just want to get some restriction so I can start seeing better benefits of this surgery I have put so much work into having. I still feel like I can eat whatever I want to and I have NOOO problem foods, and I can gulp water....all the stuff you are not supposed to do. So my "new" next appt is 8-16-06.
8-16-06 (still 225lbs according to my scale) ??? Had my 5th fill - up to 3 cc's - still dont really feel much resriction. (I dont get it) ???
9-13-06 (going up and down according to my scale 225lbs to 228lbs) Had my 6th fill - up to 3.6 CC's now - Honore said lets give you a bit of a push to get you moving since you dont really seem to be sensitive to the restriction. I can still eat anything and large quanitites if I want to. Feeling very discouraged now!
10-?-06 (damn forgot the exact date) same weight - from 225 to 228lbs) Had my 7th fill - I am at an even 4CC's now in my 5CC band mind you. Still doing the same weight-wise and food wise. I did start "noticing" my port more. Its not like its sticking out more from substantial weight loss - but its become a bit sore at times. strange. Not really anything to update at this point. UGH!!! Honore said to call Judy to see if she has any suggestions. She said it could be a possibility of lack of solid protein since I am basically a vegetarian.
Judy called me the next day and I told her I was about to call her - we discussed it and she told me to come in - we set up an appt for the day of my next appt.
11-13-06 - Still going from 225lbs to 228 lbs - go figure !!! Had my 8th fill - Honore said we can go to 4.5 cc's but I just felt that that left me almost all the way full and I wanted to see if Judy was going to suggest eating some meat to see if that would make a difference. So I was skepticle to go that high. I opted for a smaller fill till I spoke to Judy - We went up to 4.2 CC's. I told Honore I was starting to feel like something was wrong. I still have to strange port pains that started last month. She said I would be having some other kinds of symptoms if something was wrong. Like vomiting or abdominal pains etc. She asked which surgeon did my surgery, I told her Barba did - she said on the off chance they gave you a larger band I will have the OR check their records too. Well...... Then I went down to speak to Judy - I went over everything - I do follow band rules for the most part - I do do my homework - I do know how to count protein etc - Judy said well from the look of what you're eating you could still be losing weight - she said it almost sounds to her like the band may have slipped or the space above the band is too big or something - I told her I am going to ask if I can have a test or something to see what might be wrong. Judy said she would call Honore with the results.
11-14-06 - left a msg for Honore - told secretary what the problem was and that I needed a test or something, and Honore was supposed to be checking on something for me.
11-15-06 - I got a phone call from the hospital about my appt for 11-20 for my upper GI. Nice of someone to call me back huh ? - called the office again - still no call back.
11-20-06 - went to have my upper GI - the radiologist says, well the doc is right, everything goes right through the band without any difficulty at all. I felt like saying you should be calling me DR. I feel like I am diagnosing myself here. He asked why the Dr ordered the test. I told him since I have no restriction and am almost completely filled up. He said oh ok. I told him what Honore said about the slim chance I had a larger band - he said no way for him to tell, and that he didn't even know that there was different sizes. Dr Barba will have the test results by the end of the day. They took a bunch of x-rays laying down and standing up too while I was drinking that lovely milk shake crap they make you drink. After I was done - I physically went upstairs to Dr Barba's office to talk to him, since I still have no call back. I was told he was in surgery but was offered a pen and paper to write him a msg. I wrote it all out and that I needed a call back. I left him ALL of my #'s to get a phone call back 24 hrs a day.
11-21-06 - called the office again today - spoke to the same secretary again - I went over the whole story and asked if I could speak to the office mgr. She said she is out for the holiday and she said....I told you Dr Barba didnt have office hours till the Wednesday the 22nd. I said you most certainly did not, cause if you did I woudnt be on the phone with you now. She said yes he was in surgery all day yesterday and toay and he will be back in for office hours tomorrow. I cant wait to tell him how "helpful" she was !!! So we will see if he calls me back tomorrow.
Its been QUITE a while. Lets make a VERY long story very short......
Got Lyme Disease, gained about 30 lbs from the steroids, didnt like my surgeons office anymore due to continuing problmes and miscommunications, changed to my new one, who I love and I am re-commited to my struggle once again.
When I went to my 1st appt with my new surgeon, (Dr Tishler) I only had 2cc's if that in my band. No wonder why I didnt have any restriction. If I could have gotten a return call or an appt with the actual surgeon (instead of the secretary) that I used to have we may have been able to figure all of this out. But anywho..... I go in for my 2nd fill today with my new doc and its nice to see the scale going down once again. I think he said last time that he put me up to 2.5 if i remember correctly. I can still pretty much eat everything just a bit slower, so I am hoping this one will give me the perfect boost.
Oh and did I forget to mention I am engaged now and the wedding is March 1st 2008. Life is good !!!
I'll try to update more later.