July 16, 2003 is the day I had my Band placed, and I am on my way to a new life.
I've lost 117 lb, 79.25 inches, and 20.1 BMI points since I started this thing in June '02 .. not bad! My husband Kelsey told me, "You've lost a whole kid!" My Kelsey's profile: http://www.obesityhelp.com/morbidobesity/profile.phtml?N=O1097507758&NoStatic=1
I am excited. I know I have chosen the procedure that offers me
the best chance for success, now and in the future. Once in awhile, someone will come around asking for the reasons why I chose the Band, so I'll compile my reasons here:
More natural rate of weight loss:
* Minimal sagging skin
* No "window of opportunity"
* Plenty of time to develop better eating/living habits, including exercise
Least invasive surgery:
* Lower rate of complications or death
* Complications are easier to manage
* Quicker recovery time; less painful
* No cutting/rearranging of body parts
* No changing the natural digestive process
* No necessity of taking vitamins or supplements; I can get all I need from food
Most innovative technique:
* Adjustable for permanent weight-loss aid
* Removable, should something more effective become available
* "Cool" factor :)
Generous but effective learning curve:
* Better eating habits must be adopted from day one - no coasting
* Has been labeled as "thinking person's WLS"
* No punitive "dumping syndrome"; may eat like a normal person
* Ability to drink normally and get in enough water
* Safety-net effect; may put weight loss on hold to concentrate on other matters without gaining
* No abdication of control with regard to eating habits
Having spent a lot of time on the LapBand Support boards here and on SpotlightHealth.com, I have gathered what I term "Deathless Bandster Quotes", little nuggets that help get me through the day sometimes. Here are a few:
"The Band will not stop good food from being good!" - Yours Truly
"There are no good or bad foods. Just nutritious and less nutritious." - Donali
"Not losing for three days is NOT the same as not losing." Morgan C
"Even one right choice is a great success." - R Vasquez
"I'm the one paying the price when my mind grabs the fork and insists that there's room for one more bite." - Laurel
"I didn't have surgery to mess this opportunity up." - Kimberlin
"The journey is about progress, not perfection." - Tanya (BandAid), Jen (JLynn)
"When we made the choice to have the Band, we also made the promise to change our behavior." - Jan (Sunnycagal)
"If you have a wart on your finger, is it logical to say, 'I am a wart?' No. So if you have fat on your body, why would one say, 'I am fat'? - Lenore (Kipepo)
Regarding other people's negativity:
"Don't own what is not yours." Dee (Rhyme)
"Only you know how far you have come." Amy (AmyKenneth)
"What you choose NOT to eat is as important as what you choose to eat." Karyn (makeithappen)
"... changing my life, one meal at a time." Trish (Willo)
"You never break a habit; you replace one habit with a different one." Karyn (makeithappen)
"I have to work just as hard as my Band does." Angela (Marnico)
"Denial isn't how I do things anymore." Nancy (Persimmon)
"Being fat caused me to BE fat." JimmyC
"...the slower you go, the more the lost pounds stay lost."
"Don't quit five minutes before the miracle." - Irishpat
"My journey has been about more than pounds lost; it has been about a life found." Tamara
Regarding the risks of surgery:
"It's scarier staying fat. I promise." Robin (Coffeewench)
"It doesn't really matter where you are in your journey...the band is there. Tomorrow is always a new day." Kelli
"...this day ends in about 45 minutes, and [tomorrow] you get a "do-over"." BJ
"Why do we expect perfection from ourselves?" Debby (Mainebanded)
"...Why so many bypassers have an opinion on the Band is beyond me. Would you go to a Christian to explain the Hindu religion? No, go to a practicing Hindu." - Jessica Davis
On exercising (biking instead of driving)
"...with gas as expensive as it is, I may as well burn the fuel I've stored on my body..." Robin (Coffeewench)
"Every time I get on the scale and the numbers are
decreasing it is healing my soul." - Charlene
"The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there."
L.P. Hartley - Linda
"We need to take control of those things we CAN control." - Tina (schustc)
"Water and walking always help." -Stephanie M.
** My Personal Favorite **
"You can do a year of something about your situation, or a year of nothing." Angela (Marnico)
Watch this space for more .. WLS patients say great things every day! So does my mother .. yesterday she came out with this: "When you change your stomach, you have to change your MIND." .. That's my Mama!
I really began this trip in '99, when my sister gave me some literature about the clinical trial for the LapBand taking place in New Orleans. I called, but the trials were closed, so I filed the info in the back of my mind and carried on gaining weight. :) Then, in the spring of '02, I saw an ad for a bariatric clinic somewhere and it reminded me of the LapBand. I asked my husband's internist about it and he seemed approving of it, so I began researching and found out that the Band had been approved and that it was being offered at St. Charles Medical Center in New Orleans, the facility that participated in the trials.
I never looked back. Oh, I read up on the Bypass, but quickly decided it wasn't for me. Why would I go through such a drastic process as a first resort? The Band seemed tailor-made for my lifestyle .. I like to eat lots of food all the time! Hunger not required. I never realized what it was to feel satisfied .. to me, "satisfied" meant being too full to stand up. I am not interested in permanently altering my body, and I don't like the idea of malabsorption and dumping. Besides, with the Band, if something better comes up in the future, I can take advantage of it by having the Band removed. However, I plan to succeed with the Band so this should not be an issue. Just an interesting possibility.
My husband and I attended a seminar on 1-4-03 in NO, and what a joke that turned out to be. The guy running the thing had a degree in sports medicine (what a laugh) and was rather insulting and contemptuous of us weak souls seeking WLS. He expounded on the Bypass for a good long time, and then said, "Now, the Band. This should take about two seconds." HA! Guess again, sucker. I asked him questions, quickly discovering that I knew more about the Band than he did. At the end of the session, I was not his friend. :) It was then that I discovered firsthand that if you want the Band, you must be prepared to fight for it. I lost my remaining White Coat Awe that day. Big loss. :P
Kelsey and I went back for an assessment on 1-17-03 (psych test, medical evaluation, written evaluation, etc); pre-op testing on 2-07-03 (body comp, respiratory, dietitian, Band surgeon consult); then I was sent for a sleep study in my hometown on 3-05-03. I failed that spectacularly. I scored 200 out of a possible 30. :D Armed with this info and a brand new CPAP, I had an appointment with one of the MDs at WMC, who shall remain nameless. I hate this guy. :) He is very pro-RNY and tried continually to talk me out of the Band based on a lot of bad, outdated info and assumptions about me. He even played the Southern card (him: "With all this good food in New Orleans, how could the Band work?" me: "Dang good thing I don't live in New Orleans, then, isn't it?") Grrr. We argued continually throughout the visit, and I was very adamant about my choice. I found out later that the clown had written "Band-?" in my file. WTH?
I missed some days from work in the beginning of June, and when I returned on Monday 6-9-03, there was a beautiful message waiting for me from WMC .. "would you like to schedule your surgery?" I couldn't call back fast enough. They originally scheduled me for surgery on a Friday with Dr. Scalia, but I insisted on Dr. Martin. Nothing against Dr. Scalia, I met him during my consult and he is a great guy with a good reputation. I really liked him a lot, but I chose WMC and put up with their anti-Band nonsense just so I could get Dr. Martin. He actually has a Band, which raised his stock with me, and he was one of the US poineers of Band surgeries. Experience counts!
My surgery was set up for Wednesday, 7-16-03, first thing in the morning. I had to be back down there Friday, 7-11-03 to sign consents. I can't tell you the feelings I had, finally having a surgery date. I had been researching it for a year, and always with the attitude, "just in case". The whole time, I kinda took it with a grain of salt; I guess in case it fell through for some reason, I could always convince myself I hadn't really wanted to do it anyway. Having the approval (UHC rocks!) and the date really set it in concrete for me .. I was elated but it seemed kind of unreal all at once. Plus I had like six weeks to think about it and plan for it. I began telling my coworkers and my boss, all of whom were very supportive. My family had been with me from the beginning. It was all fixing to come to a head. I began 2 weeks before surgery on a liquid diet. This was tough, but really not as tough as I expected it to be. I kept my eyes on the prize and surprised myself by breezing through it. I put myself on clear liquids for 48 hrs before surgery. I lost 13 lb during this stage :)
I took off early Thursday, 7-10-03 to go on down to NO (it's a six hour trip with stops) and we made it through consents. It was nothing to that part, no signing rights away or anything, but it took forever to get the doctor in and we were all kind of antsy anyway. Kelsey and I met Dr. Martin for the first time that day .. What a wonderful guy. He has a great sense of humor and he is very professional all at once. He had us all signed up in no time, and the nurse gave us our scrips for special soaps and antibiotics, and we were outta there.
The next day we went to Mississippi for a reunion and I filled my prescriptions, and picked up some protein shakes. I hadn't tried any of my samples or any of the stuff I bought from WMC .. mistake! I had not given myself time to find one I liked .. and I didn't like any of them. Ugh. What an awful memory .. protein shakes taste like liquefied sh!t and for the first time, I was wavering in my resolve to stay on liquids. LOL. I treated myself to a smoothie that day, just because of the trauma. :)
Yep, had to be there at midnight, and I was SO nervous. I had had a mini-meltdown on the way down that day .. Kelsey and I made a day of it, stopping to shop at different places, (World Market in Baton Rouge is great!) and during our final stop at Borders Books, I called my mother and she was real supportive but I could tell she was a little nervous. My mother being a little nervous would be like anybody else freaking the heck out. So of course, this freaked me the heck out. Back in the car (I was driving, which gave me something to concentrate on) I melted down on Kelsey and said, what would you say if I said I didn't want to do this? He very calmly took me through all the reasons why I chose surgery, all the very good research I had done, and basically all the things I had told him over the months. He said we could turn around if I wanted to, but to be very very sure I wanted to. I married the most excellent man in the world. The very most excellent ever. I am blessed a million times over. So, of course, his well-reasoned points and his soothing delivery calmed me down. I am forever grateful. I don't think I actually would have turned around, but it would have been a lot closer of a call had he not been there for me.
Due to the ubiquitous road construction in Metairie, our usual exit was closed and we nearly missed the sign-in deadline .. tense! but it got my mind off of being scared. We made it and signed in (I dumped my purse all over the floor trying to show my drivers license, and lost a brand new compact .. grr! The ancient nasty eye shadow, of course, was fine.) LOL, funny what you remember, isn't it?
They showed me up to my room and we stowed our gear .. I showered and put on an exact replica of the gown Al Roker wore during his RNY .. might have been the same one, for all I know ;) .. then came the blood work. They asked me all the same old questions, started my IV, and came to draw blood. The nurse put the IV in my right hand, so all the blood had to come out of my left arm, which is apparently a medical miracle as it has NO APPARENT VEINS. Oh My Gosh, that was just about the worst part of the whole stay, having them jab in vain at my left elbow bend trying to get blood. Before it was over, I'd had my elbow bend, two places in my forearm, my inside wrist and the back of my left hand dug in for blood. I was a black and blue pincushion from elbow to knuckles. I was ready to stab my freaking eye out and say, there! There's some blood for ya! :D
Then they told me, surgery will be first thing in the morning, Get Some Sleep! As if. The good part was that Kelsey got to stay in the empty bed beside me that night (tho he wisely crashed in the hotel next door for the next two nights.) I was awake really early (partly because they kept coming in to check my vitals every 2 hours) and ready to go. A really nice nurse came to get me about 7:00 AM, and I said all my weepy goodbyes to Kelsey and my mother called and it was high drama. So she wheeled me downstairs, was told, "Not ready for Martin's patients yet!" and she promptly wheeled me back up. And we waited. And waited. And at 9:30, the whole process started over. That was kind of funny .. as if I wasn't tense enough.
** ** ** Here's where it gets freaky and dramatic. She wheeled me in and it was like a dance with a lot of partners. I had to lay on a stretcher (that brings it home, let me tell ya!) and have my hair put up in a cap. Then somebody strapped little balloons to my feet and they inflated up and down against my arches .. little pumps .. I loved them; they were such a comfort. I was terrified of blood clots, and this seemed like a small little thing against such a terror, but I was glad to have it. Then the anasthesiologist with the lovely accent asked me a bunch of questions and had me read a rather terrifying list of possible complications with anasthesia that I had never considered (broken teeth?) and told me there would be a neck IV as well as a breathing tube. Horrors! I lay there waiting, and heard a patient coming out of surgery .. "Honey, what's your name? Your, no, YOUR name? No .. it's Crystal .. remember?" OH NO! And then, suddenly, somebody was wheeling me into a really, REALLY cold room and having me move my bulk onto a stretcher that was about half as wide as I am .. ?? .. and then several things were happening all at once. I remember someone telling me to stretch my arms out on these little arm boards, and someone else telling me they were strapping me onto the little surfboard stretcher, and someone ELSE saying, "this will make you sleepy" and coming down on me with a mask. Then, BANG. Out. Sleepy? No. OUT like a freaking light. Then, seconds later, SOUND AND FURY .. there were like six heads in little surgical caps dotted above me all talking at once. I guess they were speaking English .. it sounded like gibberish to me .. then a pair of pretty blue eyes smiled over a mask and said, "Your surgery is over and it went real well .. should I go talk to your husband?" And all I was thinking was MY NAME IS JEANIE B because I knew someone was supposed to ask .. LOL .. they never did .. and then I told Dr. Martin yes, please do go speak to him, and he asked me to describe my husband and I did, (I think .. I hope I didn't send him looking for Vin Diesel) and I was thinking, surgery? what surgery? who are all these people? where am I? I know WHO I am, but WHERE am I and why? And then I must have drifted off because I remember getting into the room, but not the elevator ride or anything like that.
My Kelsey was in the room, smiling at me so big and that made me so happy I wanted to cry. Everything was OK just seeing him standing there. He gave up all his vacation time to go down to New Orleans with me and stay in an uncomfortable hospital room and hotel, reading and doing not much else. I felt so terrible about that. But he really brought me a lot of joy. He acted as my "call button" for the nurses, he ran paperwork back and forth to the clinic, and he made me get up and walk when the nurses forgot to walk me like they are supposed to. He also made me drink those nasty little cups of protein they brought me. :p
That night, the breathing treatments started. The respiratory guy brought in this nebulizer-like deal with medicine vapor in it and made me breathe into it, hard enough to lift the ping-pong ball, for 10 minutes at a time. This was a medieval torture device, if they'd had electricity in the middle ages. It was awful. The medicine tasted nasty and the breathing was torturous. Necessary, but torturous. (I got tickled at the guy though; he was real nice but he became convinced I was a devil-worshipper after he saw my copy of Harry Potter 5 on the bedside table.)
I don't really remember details about my hospital stay .. I know that my family and my coworkers called several times, and that Dr. Martin and Dr. Raum came by, as well as June Golden from the clinic .. but the next clear memory I have is of Dr. Martin telling me that I will have to stay an extra night because I have not passed gas to his satisfaction. His comment was something like, "all those years of med school and training, and it all comes down to waiting for a fart." It hurt, but all I could do was laugh. I went up to Radiology for the barium swallow, and that stuff couldn't be more gross .. but it wasn't too bad. The nurses forgot me in the hall in front of the ER, and after about half and hour two really nice orderlies rescued me and took me back up to my room. God bless them, whoever they were.
So we spent Thursday night too .. Kelsey torturing me with tales of the great Mexican place in the hotel across the street .. (It wasn't that bad, actually .. I did not even remember what hunger felt like). Friday I got to take a shower (!) and wash my hair and dress in real clothes .. it was a little uncomfortable but not unbearable. Kevin the wonderful nurse came and removed my medicine ball and IV, no pain, and wrote me out. Dianna, the dietician, came with last-minute instructions and Kelsey went to get the car! Kevin insisted on wheeling me out and just like that, we were on our way!
********* PAIN! ************ PAIN! *********** PAIN! ************
Five-alarm pain began coursing through my incisions about a block away from the hospital. I had made the mistake of taking my IV meds for granted, especially the Morphine (I can see why folks get addicted to that stuff .. it make my vein burn when they switched it on, but then it took care of the pain it was causing!) Kelsey wanted to find a little shop in the Quarter called Scriptoria, and although all I wanted to do was get home, I wouldn't stop him. (He refused to leave my side except to sleep and eat for the whole stay, so how could I?) He didn't find it, but he did stop and get me a pillow for my stomach. We also stopped at Target in Metairie so I could walk and fill my prescription for Lortab. My sweet and thoughtful knight of a husband bought two little Nerf footballs so I could roll them under my feet between stops, and kidded me that I would be "walking" home from New Orleans. We stopped for water, stopped to eat (none for me, thanks) and stopped for gas, etc .. every hour or so.
Upon getting back to town, my sister and niece and mother exclaimed over me for an hour or so before I was allowed to go home. Home was fresh and newly cleaned by my darling mother, there were beautiful flowers and a great new pegnoir and wrap from my out-of-town sister. Very pretty .. turqouise satin pegnoir and a bright, summery floral wrap. They were Godsends .. silky and light against my scars. It was so lovely .. being home, in my own bed .. MISTAKE!! I tried sleeping against a "husband pillow" but laying down and getting up were the stuff of nightmares. One of my scars, the farthest one on the right, was especially bad .. I called it my Satan scar because I became convinced it was where the Devil lives. It gave out an intense, burning pain when I moved in a way it didn't like. And it didn't like twisting! So, my CPAP and me slept in the new recliner for like 5 days. It's a nice recliner, but it ain't the bed, y'know? :)
I hung around home for a week, then it was back to see Dr. Martin the following Friday, the 25th. He pulled the dressings off and my scars looked great .. purple, but good .. and after a few encouraging comments Kelsey and I were on our way. We stopped by Scriptoria this time, and on the way home we stopped for Mederma for my scars and a silver gecko earring for Kelsey, since he's so sweet and he has a newly-pierced ear :) ..
I resumed walking with Mom that week, and could only go a fraction of the distance that we had been used to. But we keep at it and enjoy seeing how far or fast we can go.
Life is pretty good .. I don't have much restriction right now, and I can hold about a cup of food and that keeps me full for hours. I haven't had any BPs yet, and only one golf ball, (cashews). I don't have a problem not drinking w/meals, but my chewing needs work :)
I am scheduled for my first fill on 10-10. Can't wait. As of 10-04, I am at 270 .. that's 22 lb since surgery and 57 lb since highest weight .. I am down a total of 9.8 BMI points as well .. the Band rocks!!! :) And it's not even filled yet!
10-13-03 .. First fill under my belt :) and let me tell you, it WORKS! I saw a Dr. Schneider in Radiology .. he gave me a numbing cream and a numbing shot, then proceeded to stick the needle in under and just to the left of my port scar .. I watched the whole thing on flouro, and it was too cool. I felt him pressing, really hard, on my belly and that was kinda sore, but I didn't feel the needle at all. As the fill was going in, he had me drink barium so he could adjust .. I finally ended up at 2.6 cc, which is HUGE for a first fill. It was so neat watching the baruim going down the esophegeal tube, then stopping .. then s l o w l y trickling thru the Band. How neat watching what is happening inside your body in real time. It really helped me understand what happens when I eat, so I could adjust and visualize what could go down, and when, and how fast. They made me eat a cracker and drink some water so they could be sure I wasn't over-filled, and it took me 30 min! When Dr. Martin came in, he told me, "You are looking damn good!" :D That took me by surprise, but that is the way he is is and it *made my day*.
I stayed on liquids for the rest of Friday and until 5:30 Saturday, then I had about a 1" piece of bread crust and the filling from 1 manicotti at the new Italian place. The next day I had a 2-egg omelet w/cheese and that was it! I went from 277 to 269 over the weekend. Granted, some of this was clothes and some was water, but it still looked good on the scales! According to Dr. Martin, my band holds 4.5 cc, so it is over half full, but he said that fractional increments should do the trick from now on, and I can expect to lose at least 8 lb/mo. YESSSSSSS! I'm so ready.
11-03 .. 3 weeks after my fill, and I have lost 4 lb .. (I am still at 269, as I had gained pre-fill.) Grrr. I have decent restriction, because things get stuck when I don't chew well enough, but I'm not at that "sweet spot". I am impatient! I want to lose my 8 lb a month! Dang it! :) I have my next appointment on 11-21, but who knows if I will be able to keep it. I want to; I need to get another fill that day too .. but we will see.
I am drinking all my water now, and getting in the majority of my protein. I'm being a good girl!
Good news! I busted my butt getting in my water and protein last week, and it paid off to the tune of 4 lb! YES! It has been so long since the frigging scale moved, I was getting worried. Hee hee, I feel like I lost more than 4 lb in the load off my mind!
Of course, some of this may be due to stress over Kelsey losing his job in such a ridiculous manner last week, but I am not worried about that anymore .. I see it as an obstacle moved out of our way and he deserves better anyway. So, we celebrate! :)
11-24-03 .. Life continues to be good! I am down another 5 lb, to 260 .. only 10 lb from my first mini-goal and my first self-reward .. a new hairstyle and maybe some highlights. Whoowee! Can't wait. I am dog-sick today .. I took some meds and then drank some milk .. well country me didn't think that the meds were probably sitting atop the band and when I drank the milk, I immediately got sick. Probably a bad reaction from the combo. Yuck. It feels like the flu. May be the flu, for all I know. Oh well, maybe I won't overdo the dressing and pecan pie this year!
12-12-03 .. After Thanksgiving, I had a bad date with the scale .. no, not THAT kind .. (: The brand new scale we bought post-surgery is dead .. you get on it three times in a row and get three different results, of up to a 10-pound differential. Screw that, says I. I haven't weighed since it told me I gained six pounds in an hour. I have enough stress in my life without adding a lying scale to the mix. I decided to put the whole journey on hold until after the holidays .. I have presents to buy, parties to attend, jewelry orders to fill, and all the usual stuff .. on good advice from my group at spotlighthealth.com, I am concentrating on stuff like enough water, vitamins, and exercise and not focusing so intently on what I eat (within reason, of course.) I dreamed last night that I was seeing Dr. Martin and his scale said I weighed 460 since my last visit .. that's a 200 lb gain .. did I say dream? That was a nightmare! LOL .. it scared me enough to stay straight today. I'll check back in in 2004.
1-07-04 .. Back .. the holidays were wonderful, hectic, and too short! :) I have now taken myself off hold and, to my amazement, I haven't gained a pound. Haven't lost any either, to be honest, but .. I DIDN'T GAIN over the holidays! This band ROCKS. I need a fill, but as Kelsey is still jobless I don't see it happening anytime soon. My friend JennyB over at Spotlight has hipped me to some new fill doctors in Prairieville (near Baton Rouge) that she's going to try on Friday .. if they are good, I may go and have them do my fills. It's closer .. I have been getting in nearly all my protein and all my water .. I've been drawing almost every day .. still cussing, but then I didn't resolve to stop .. LOL .. a girl has to have one vice, right?
One cool thing .. with my Lane Bryant gift card from the in-laws, I bought my first pair of blue jeans since the Clinton administration .. (around '96, I think) .. they are SO WONDERFUL! I mean, they are still huge, but they are blue jeans and I love them so. It has been so long, that wearing jeans feels like dressing up. And they look cute on me! :) Yee haw, this is motivation at its finest. My next reward comes at 250 .. I am having my hair cut into an actual style, and maybe highlighted. Excited! Come ON, 2004! Ai-Eeeeeeee!
Hee Hee! I did my measurements this weekend (after a big salty bowl of Italian Wedding soup by Campbell's .. ever tried that stuff? It ROCKS) .. and the measurements were out of whack. So, feeling bad, I got out the ol' calculator and decided to see how many aeons it will take me to get to goal at the s l o w pace I'm at now. I figured .. 6 mo bandiversary was Friday, so 32 divided by 6 is 5.3 lb per month. Hm, not bad. OK .. so ... and by the time I was finished, I had figured that at this same rate, I can reach goal within 2 1/2 years of surgery! SWEET!!!!! :D I am right on track, and this is without discernable restriction. How great is that? I felt soooo much better. The Trio works .. protein, water, exercise. I'll get there, and the view will still be great! :)
I got to thinking today. (You do that when it's been 4 months since a fill and 3 months since the scale moved down) .. it's not so bad. On a typical day now, I eat an egg white or two for breakfast, a protein lunch like a bowl of chili or some turkey breast and cheese, a sugarfree chocolate or two or a cup of hot cocoa for a snack, a salmon fillet or one serving of whatever Kelsey cooked for suppper, and 60 oz of water. Sometimes I will do a couple of cookies and a glass of milk after supper as a treat ..
Compare this to two years ago. Then, breakfast was two PopTarts and a 16 oz hot cocoa. Lunch was typically from Captain D's or some other fastfood joint, or else a 1-lb baked potato, loaded, from Three Potato More, with a Coke. Snack? A candy bar and another Coke. Supper was 2-3 helpings of whatever .. fried chicken or pizza was real big, we ate out ALOT, with 2-3 glasses of Coke, and for dessert, usually cookies, ice cream or candy.
** shudder ** shudder ** shudder **
NO freaking wonder I got up to 330. Lord have mercy, I gained 5 lb just typing that. It makes me nauseous to think of my typical daily food, now. Oh, don't get me wrong, I could still eat it :) but I know it would make me physically as well as mentally sick to do so.
I can't even stand to watch others drink sugary stuff all day. I still do sometimes, but only as a treat, maybe a couple of times a month now. I don't want to turn into a Nazi, especially since I am losing so slowly, but it makes you want to shake people when you see them loading up on junk or filling their kids up with it.
Ick. Old me needed a hug and a kick in the pants. I hope I gave her both. :)
I AM BELOW 260! I am doing the happy dance .. It only took two freaking months to drop into the 250's .. YES! OK, OK, I know it's only two pounds, but it feels like 20. Hee Hee. Kelsey and I bought a used treadmill from Kim, and we both have been working out on it. I recommitted to my eating habits and exercise (water hasn't been a problem, amazingly enough) and I feel right back on track, even without a fill. I go back to see Martin on 3-14, and I don't hold out much hope for a fill the same day. Doesn't mean I won't try, kick and scream for one though! :)
YES! I was so excited, I got my hair cut (that was supposed to be my reward for hitting 250) .. !
3-15-04 .. This is going to sound crazy, but I am no longer convinced that I need another fill. I know, I know .. I read my posts above and I am still planning on talking to Dr. Martin about it when I see him on 4-2. However .. I am over half filled now. If I exercise a little caution on my calories, I can still lose weight. (See my 1-lb loss last week.) That means I am doing the majority of the work, not the Band, but that might be OK for right now. I went into this knowing it would be a lot of work! I am learning habits for a lifetime now, and I don't want to be able to say I coasted. I am finding, this late in life (I'm 34) that hard work agrees with me. What a concept. I may still get a fill, a tiny one (which is Martin's philosophy anyway, one big first one then lots of tiny ones) and it may help me go the rest of the way .. We will see what he says. I want my band capacity to be there should I need it in the future .. it could be argued that I need it *now*, sitting at 257 with 122 lbs to go till goal .. but on the other hand, I have this band for life. I want to retain some of the adjustability that sold me on it in the first place. What to do, what to do .. I will know more 2 weeks!
4-12-04 OK, so it's been more than 2 weeks. My clinic is screwed up as a MOFO when it comes to scheduling, so we ended up going on Good Friday, of all days. There was bad news and good news .. I weighed in at 264 (fully clothed) on their scales. Hmm. After Dr. Martin and I talked, he decided to go ahead and give me a fill, no flouro, right there in the exam room. He aspirated only 1.5 cc of fill, when there should have been 2.6 cc. Well, that explains a lot! Wonder where my other 1.1 went. He filled me to 1.8, which isn't much but it is doing the trick so far. I went on an abbreviated version of post op diet (24 hrs liquid, 24 hrs soft and then solids, within reason and carefully) and today for lunch I had about half a can of tuna before I got the soft-stop sign. I heeded it (for a change) and in the 25 minutes since I stopped eating, I have been feeling more and more full. This is good! :) My soft-stop sign has changed .. last time it was a runny nose, this time it's pain between my shoulder blades. This Band is goofy, I tell ya. I weighed Sunday at church on the T.O.P.S. scale, and it read 257. Interesting. I think I'll go with that. :D
I't nearly a week later, and I am amazed at the amount of food it takes for me to get full. So *this* is what restriction feels like. I have been trying to stay at 1200 cal per day, which was difficult with no restriction. Now it's a struggle to get all 1200 in! I must start eating my egg whites for breakfast again. I have been neglecting breakfast, and eating so little for lunch to "save" calories, since I rarely know what we are having for supper. Then, at supper, I find that I can't eat so I know I am not getting in my full 1200. While this won't hurt me over the course of a day or two, I must find ways to get more calories in without feeling that I must calorie-load in the evenings. That way lies madness. :)
4-26-04 .. Down 2 lb! The new fill is really working for me, combined w/getting in enough water. We bought a weight bench and we are going to start Body For Life as soon as the book comes in. We are excited about it .. that plus the treadmill should really help a lot. :)
5-03-04 .. down another 1 lb since last week .. hey, I may not be a raging ball o'fire, but at least the scale's moving down again. I finally got the BFL book and it is very exciting and motivating .. we have the weight bench assembled and I tried it out .. still sore after 2 days! :D I need some dumbbells and another set of iron weights, and we will be all set. Still keeping under 1200 cals; it's nearly effortless w/a good fill.
6-01-04 .. Whoo-Hoo! Down another 5 lb. I think I like weighing only once a month or so .. the loss looks much larger that way. I haven't been doing wonderful on my water, but I have been keeping up with FitDay and that helps so much. My fill is still good and tight, so I am plugging along! I would advise any pre- or newly post-op to take their measurements. I do monthly, and after taking them Sunday, I sat down to compare my loss. Here's how it stacks up.
August '03 June '04 Difference
Chin (ear to ear) 10.5" 9.75 - .75"
Neck circumference 18 17 - 1
Around Shoulders 53 48 - 5
Bust 57.5 52 - 5.5
Upper Arm 18 16.5 - 1.5
Ribs 50.5 44.75 - 5.75
Waist 49.5 44.5 - 5
Stomach 57 55 - 2
Hips 52.5 49.5 - 3
Upper Thigh 29 25 - 4
Calf 16.5 17.5 + 1
6-22-04 .. popping in to say, how cute is my new profile? :) Thanks, Brandi!
I got to thinking of things that inspire me, and one song comes to mind .. "Drive" by Incubus. The message works for so much more than WLS.
Sometimes I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I can't help but ask myself how much I let the fear take the wheel and steer
It's driven me before, it seems to have a vague
Haunting mass appeal
Lately I'm beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there
With open arms and open eyes, yeah
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there, I'll be there
So if I decide to waiver my chance to be one of the hive
Will I choose water over wine or hold my own and drive, oh oh
It's driven me before, and it seems to be the way
That everyone else gets around
Lately, I'm beginning to find that when I drive myself, my light is found
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there
With open arms and open eyes, yeah
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there, I'll be there
Would you choose water over wine
Hold the wheel and drive
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there
With open arms and open eyes, yeah
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there, I'll be there ...
I don't normally post until I have lost .. but I won't weigh again until this weekend and I have something to say, dadgumit! :D I have been in such a *funk* for the past couple of weeks. I think I need to weigh more often because this once a month thing isn't really getting it. I mean, I do like it, as I said above, because the losses seem larger, but what if there's no loss? What if there's (gasp) GAIN? Then you've lost precious time identifying the problem and correcting it. Forget that, says I. I think I will go back to weekly or at least bi-weekly weighing. This should help with the WLS blues.
Sometimes you just get so infernally *tired* of it all. Choosing the right food. Waiting for that "soft stop" sign. Resisting the urge to take that last bite. Feeling guilty after you give in. Feeling scared that you've stretched your pouch. Panicking that your band will slip because of your poor impulse control and you will lose it forever. Not being able to take medicine that WORKS (read: BC Powder) because of erosion issues. Wanting to take advantage of the new C2, which is really great, but not wanting to risk carbonation damage. Not knowing how real any of these risks really are in your case, but not wanting to take the chance.
I have found one antidote to the WLS Blues that seems to work so far: Exercise. Imagine that. My old nemesis, physical exertion .. coming to my rescue. How Darth Vader. :D I did the upper/lower BFL workout on Saturday and, as a result, couldn't move Sunday. I did upper body last night, and the cardio set today. I feel GREAT. I can't get over how a few minutes of weight training and cardio can make such a difference in how you feel. I find, after a scant week of training, that I cannot WAIT till the next session. Me. ME! How wierd is that? I urge anyone who's reading this to check out Body for Life by Bill Phillips. Anyone can do it. It can change your outlook. It ought to be prescribable for WLS blues! :D
I weighed this weekend, after a month, and am down another 3 lb. to 246. Hey. I spent several days over the last couple of weeks living like there's no Hell, gastronomically speaking. I'm grateful I didn't gain! I've been doing Body For Life faithfully, so maybe I'm gaining some muscle tone under all this fat. I can't express enough how great it feels to be exercising. It does make a body hungry, though. I will have to go grocery shopping so I can do those six mini-meals that I am supposed to be eating.
My dear friend Peggy surprised me today. She said that she visited my profile (WHAT she was doing on ObesityHelp is a mystery .. her skinny butt has no need to be here!) This is the email she sent me. I got her permission to post it here because it inspires me so much. :)
"I just wanted to let you know, that I read your profile yesterday.It was the most touching thing I have ever read.You have really come a long way since last year.I give you the upmost respect for all the hard work and dedication that you have achieved in the last year. You are a real what they call "TROOPER".I wished that i could have just little of your determination.Just wanted to let you know that I really thought a lot of your profile..peggy"
One of the sweetest things ever happened this weekend. My mother and uncle have their annual high school reunion in July in Mississippi, and Kelsey and I run Mom over there each year. My uncle is a couple of years older than Mom (they're both in their 70s) and he told her a couple of times that he was very worried about my weight. I have been such a slow loser that nobody hardly ever notices, even if they don't see me often. Well, when we showed up at the reunion, Uncle Pete took our picture and then said to me, "Girl, you get more beautiful every time I see you."
I didn't know what to say. I thanked him and hugged his neck, and we went in and that was that. I thought.
Mom called Pete when we got back home that night, and she told me that he said to her how proud he was of me, that I had lost "so much" weight and was so pretty that I should be in beauty contests.
The old dear. He would never say all that to me, but the fact that he did say it (and it's not like him to gush with compliments!) means the world to me. Mom said, "I didn't prompt him either!" :D They are something else.
It means so much when the people in your life get behind you in something like this. No one ever told me, at my highest weight, that I was out of control. It would have been counterproductive if they had. I know they discussed it behind my back (just trying to figure me out, y'know) but no one ever was ugly or even firm to me about it. It means so much more, in light of that fact, when they now cheer me on.
Kelsey is the perfect example. We discussed it early on how he would never give me a throwaway compliment. He would wait until he actually saw a difference to point it out to me. He has, on occasion, and it just lifts me to the skies when he does. Because I know it is sincere. He tells me every morning, when I wake him up after my workout, that he is proud of me. It's so sweet. He will have this sleepy voice .. "I'm so proud of you" .. it takes my heart and I take so much strength from it.
My family rocks! :)
It just occurred to me that I have never described my BFL (Body for Life) routine, for the uninitiated.
It is a 12-week program of strength training and cardio, 3 days of each, and one free day weekly.
Upper body workout includes chest, shoulders, triceps (back of upper arm), biceps, and upper back.
Lower body includes quadriceps (front thigh) hamstrings (back thigh) calves, and abs.
Cardio is 20 minutes of intensity level training .. I do mine on the treadmill.
Monday - upper body - 35 minutes
Tuesday - cardio
Wednesday - lower body - 30 minutes
Thursday - cardio
Friday - upper body
Saturday - cardio
Sunday - free day
Monday -lower body
and so on .......
Intensity levels are 1-10, like this. Imagine 1 would be sitting on the couch, and 10 would be fleeing for your life. :)
You start with an intensity level of 5 for all exercises.
Weight lifting .. 6 sets with increasing weight levels.
12 reps with your lightest weight
10 reps with a heavier one
8 reps with a still heavier one
6 reps with the heaviest one you can lift
12 reps with one of the lighter weights
12 reps of a different exercise for the same muscle group, with the same weight as your last set of 12
Cardio: 20 minutes, broken down minute-by-minute. Imagine the same intensity index 1-10.
1 - level 5
2 - level 5
3 - level 6
4 - level 7
5 - level 8
6 - level 9
7 - level 6 - dial it back
8 - level 7
9 - level 8
10 - level 9
11 - level 6
12 - level 7
13 - level 8
14 - level 9
15 - level 6
16 - level 7
17 - level 8
18 - level 9
19 - level 10 - hard as you can go
20 - level 5
done! You should be toast by now!
It really works and it's so enjoyable. Less than 4 hrs a week, and it's intense! :)
Well, here it is, my one-year bandiversary. Man. A year of banding looks WAY different from this end than I imagined it in the hospital 12 months ago.
I was hoping for an 80-90 lb loss by now, but that just wasn't to be. As of this morning, I have lost 44 lb. (I have inexplicably gained two pounds in the past two weeks.)
I am cognizant of what else I have gained in the past 52 weeks. I have taken control of my life in ways I never dreamed of, pre-surgery. I have cut my food intake by 2/3. I have learned reams about nutrition and fitness. I have learned to love water. I have integrated exercise into my daily life, rising early in the morning to do it. I have made great friends. :) I have learned patience, though I don't much like how I've had to learn it. I have fought for something I wanted and won. I feel stronger, healthier, more in-control, and happier.
My journey is just beginning.
Happy birthday, Ryan O'Reilly. I have loved and hated you, but we are partners for life.
Haven't posted for awhile, due to being bummed about the little 2-lb gain. It does suck, sometimes, when you do all you can and you still are stuck like Chuck! I am working out every day, keeping my calories low and still not losing. It blows! I have figured out that I am getting in too much fat, and not getting in all of my water, and that doesn't help. I also realized that I had mis-measured my favorite bowl and so have been eating 1.5 or 2 cups out of it, not 1 like I thought. So there's my FitDay measurements blown all to Hell. Stupid mistakes like that really can get you down. Then it starts to spiral and you don't want to exercise. It feels like pushing a rock up a mountain sometimes! But I still wake up thinking, ok, what is it today? Upper body, lower body, or treadmill? So I guess it has made its way into my lifestyle, which can only be a good thing. I ain't gonna win no challenges with this body, but my metabolism is up and I feel like I have achieved something every day. I couldn't always say that!
Feeling *much* better today. I weighed this morning and have lost one of the infamous 2 lbs, so that helps a lot. I won't update my weight up top until it goes down "officially", though! I do have my quirks. I am undecided as to whether I need another fill. I have lost 19 lb since the last one, which is 4.75 lb per month, which is great for me. The past month has been somewhat screwy, though, so I guess I will give it more time. I only just began to fix my water, portion size and fat issues, so I have to give that time to kick in. Good thing I always planned to be conservative with my fills! I was telling Kelsey the other morning, sometimes you feel like there is nowhere to go. That feeling is one of the major reasons I avoided RNY. I (think) I am decently restricted, and eating the right things in the correct portions, getting in my water and exercising faithfully. If this doesn't do it, I can always fall back on getting a fill. I do NOT want to risk being overfilled, but I think I may have lost some fill like I did last time. I guess, at that point, there'll be nothing to it but to do it. We are in this for life, and it's not a race ..
8-09-04 .. Update from the World's Biggest Dumbass. :/
OK, attentive readers (yeah, right) will note that I posted about inexplicably gaining two pounds a couple of weeks ago. Well, it turns out that was ALL IN MY HEAD. Gives the term "fathead" a whole new meaning. I have had the idea kicking around that I had weighed 244 at some point, and that I gained up to 246. That mystery 2 lb has been driving me crazy for some time now. So I get out my notes at home, ready to consolidate them all into one notebook. Guess what? I can find *no* reference to *ever* weighing 244. I check my chart. Nope. Call Mom and ask her if I ever mentioned that weight. Nope. Ask Kelsey the same thing. Guess what? NOPE. So I get to work and check on here. 246, lowest weight. Conclusion? That I am a jackass of the first order.
Well, since I *must* have something pertaining to my loss to obsess over, I promptly and stupidly worked up a chart chronicling my monthly and weekly loss trends. MISTAKE. It has slowed consistently, with one little blip in May '04. This is worrisome, as it has not picked up even after my fills. Oh well. I did have those troubles with my portions, mis-sizing my bowls, not getting my water in, and not FitDaying weekend intake. I have solved all of that so I really should give it time to show up in the numbers. I won't panic ... yet. :)
** addendum .. -47 lb = 31% excess weight lost. Take THAT, quoters of outdated Band statistics! :D
OK, no panicking. I am down another 1 lb. Hey, if it wants to come off one pound a week, I'm not fussed. As long as it's coming off. Looks like my militant attitude is paying off. My style is not for everyone .. I put a LOT more effort into my loss than most everyone else I know .. but it is what works for me. Not only that, it is what I must do to keep the weight coming off. My weight is stubborn, or it likes me, or something because I have to fight it pound by pound to get rid of it. No coasting for me. :) I wish sometimes it were easier; that I had had the experience of effortless weight loss, but those thoughts usually come when I am beat down and tired of thinking about it all the time. Then I wake up and remind myself that my personality would have turned the coasting into complete disaster and I would have been a regain statistic. I'll take my journey, difficult, with a side of frustration please! But I'll wash it down with a big ol' glass of satisfaction that I have worked hard and that the hard work is paying off.
Friday update! I weigh on Friday mornings before work, and pass the savings on to you. :D I'm in a goofy mood this morning .. we are partying at work and have been all week, and I STILL lost 2 lb! ** Doing the two-pound dance ** I have now lost fifty (50) lb since surgery .. that feels like a milestone! And 85 lb overall .. dang girl, you go! Can you tell I'm proud of myself? Water, Exercise, Protein! It works and it pays off, and it feels dang good to be doing it for myself! :) :D :)
OK, so some of the "two pound euphoria" has worn off. I have gone up a pound .. no worries though .. it could be monthly stuff .. I can't tell anymore! I went through a rough weekend because I took measurements and they weren't what I wanted them to be. Oh well. I've been through this before and expect I will go thru it again .. I just have to keep on keepin' on .. rolling that rock up that hill (my euphemism for exercise) and it will come off. When it's ready. I have an appointment to check the Band on 10-15-04, and I **** might **** get a fill. I feel like I have lost some fill again, like last time. The wonderful news is, Kelsey will be going with me to start his proceedings! I am exceedingly proud of him! His BMI's not but 35, but we want to settle down the diabetes before it gets worse. I am excited for him. He will lose quick, I just know it. Of course, he says this is "just in case" and I am NOT pushing it. Just holding his hand and loving him! :) Speaking of love and stuff .. I was finally able, a couple of weeks ago, to get my wedding ring off. Not that I *want* to take it off! But I hadn't been able to remove it since like '98, so that was pretty monumental for me. I was getting claustrophobic and I did NOT want to have it cut off. My finger is deformed! :D
Down to 241 this morning .. I don't know whether to say this is a 1 lb loss or a 2 lb loss! (Seeing as how I had gone back up to 243.) I will just say a 1 lb loss. Not that it matters .. this is my lowest weight in many many years so I will take it!
9-17-04 .. I am an update/data junkie .. can you tell? I don't know anyone else so obsessed with the minutiae (sp?) of their weight loss journey. Oh well. Down to 240 today. I love getting to multiples of 10. It feels like you have "done something"! I did eat more calories/fat this week .. not on purpose; just couldn't get it together for lunch some days. Evidently it didn't hurt too much .. but still I don't intend to make a habit of it.
Can't wait to drop into the 230's .. I'm on my way to mini-goal #2 .. !
** oh, got to add one more thing. Wednesday night Kelsey and I had gone out for supper, and we passed my niece in the parking lot. I haven't seen her since last Thanksgiving, I guess .. she started to walk right past me. We had a big laugh over how she nearly didn't recognize me! ;) I'm not sure if I buy it totally, but it did give me a much-needed boost. Especially as this took place in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant! HA!
9-01-04 .. gained and lost the same pound in the last two weeks, so still at 240. No worries. :) The big news is that, around the first of August, Kelsey decided he would "go with me" on my next appointment and see about getting his process started. This slowly evolved into him planning for it and actually looking forward to it .. then on 9-20, we had a fateful meeting with Dr. Mocklin, Kelsey's internist, who took Kelsey's "well, I'm thinking about having Band surgery" statement for the gospel and ran with it! He set up K's next appointment for April, saying, "you should be post-op by then"! It was funny but scary all at once, because, reading between the lines, you could kind of see where Dr. M was concerned and that the next step might be insulin. We Don't Want To Go There. So, after many faxes and phone calls, we *tentatively* have Kelsey scheduled for 10-14 and 10-15 to do his nursing assessment, etc. Yay Boo! <3 :)
I need to get HIM a profile of his own!
Whee-Hee! Not only did I drop into the 230s, I LEAPED in with both feet! 236! That is a 4-lb loss; I had to weigh several times and check the calibration on the scale before I would believe it. The only thing I did different last week was consistently forget my lunch, so I ate out several times. Kelsey thinks that getting in my calories earlier may have made the difference, and it makes sense. Shoot, I'll take it! (And I love that he is thinking like a Bandster already. 2 more days till his assessment!) I put some Fall clothes on layaway this weekend; size 18-20 shirts and 24 pants. I LOVE IT. I haven't worn those sizes since the Clinton administration. I'm in jeannnnnss todaaaaaay .. :D
10-18-04 .. Well! We did the WMC thing last week for Kelsey's initial assessment .. whoa, that was exhausting! He got all his initial testing done, and Faye worked a miracle and got him in for a sleep study. He had the same ham-fisted wench I had to draw his blood. She will never touch him again! It was awful. He said even the arterial blood gas test was nothing compared to the labs. Other than that, it all went really well. The WMC has greatly improved in their streamlining and pro-RNY bias.
I saw Dr. Martin, and we agreed that my fill level is appropriate for right now, since I am losing. I want to have the Band looked at, and have another REE/Body Comp done, but we will do that next time. We go back for Kelsey on Nov. 10-11, and I can have it done then. I'm currently at 235.5, so I won't change the stats upstairs. I'm glad of that -.5 lb, since we've eaten out so much since Wednesday! :) (Dr. Martin told me, "You've lost a 7-year-old"!)
Besides that, the trip was just *fun*. Kelsey and I haven't seen much of each other lately, due to work schedules, and it was grand just to spend time with him, even if it was