Where do I start? I am an American woman living in Saudi Arabia. A few years ago I had my gallbladder removed here. The surgeon has become a family friend. My dh saw him in the store a few months ago and was informed that the hospital he works at has him opening a WLS Clinic.
I did not think much of it because I have a 7 month old son who I am nursing. I have been eagerly awaiting him to turn 1yrs so that I could get back on the Atkins diet for the fifth time (it is ideal for me because I have had gestational diabetes in all 3 of my pregnancies and diabetes runs in my family. I nurse my children for a full 2 yrs but have done Atkins in the past with my other two children when they were over 18 months). However, I have been pregnant and/or nursing for 7 years now, so I am always losing and regaining.
I have recently learned about the LAP Band. I never ever thought I would be interested in any WLS because the GBS scares the heck out of me. So I called our family friend/surgeon and asked him which procedure does he do. He said to come in when his clinic is open in a month, that they do not do GBS that they put a 'ring' on you (he's Arab and is use to referring to stuff in English in a way that he thinks most ppl can relate so I am assuming he means band). I asked him how much is the procedure and he said, "don't worry about it for you it's free!!!"
I will tell you the situation, in Saudi. Since I have been researching I have found out that the military hospitals (treats the royals so they have top notch doctors) and the private hospitals have been doing LAP Band for years (I think they use the Swedish band). My doctor, however, works for the Government hospitals, which are free for all Saudis and qualifying expats. I had my gallbladder removed there and a cesarean delivery (side bar: I had LOTS of adhesion/scar tissue removed I hope it has not come back and will be a problem for LAP BAND). This is a new clinic he is opening so I am assuming that I will be one of his first, if not his first patient. He is a great surgeon and has performed many laproscropic surgeries, I'm just not sure if he has ever done Lap band.
I guess the advice I am seeking here, is what would you do if you were in my shoes? I have no insurance at all, anywhere in the world, so America is not an option. It is fairly inexpensive here at the private institutes, but I still could not afford it without putting my dh in a bind and then it would take time for him to save for it. I prefer to do it now because I would like to have another baby in a few years (ALL OF MY KIDS ARE 2 1/2 YEARS A PART). What are the things that would make you turn down an opportunity to have this done FREE!!!???
What would be your concerns with being a docs first patient? I would be more comfortable if he was more established, but the clinic doesn't even open for another month. Of course I will inquire about his training when I go in for the consultation.
Please advise me like you would advise yourself. Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly!
P.S I notice that after banding most people eat low carb. The reason I can't stick to Atkins when I am pregnant and/or nursing is because I need the ketosis to keep me in control of what I eat. Without the ketosis I am back to my bad habits. However, it is not recommended to be in ketosis while pregnant and/or nursing. Due to the restriction of the band, I am assuming that you even get less carbs than on Atkins...are most bandsters in ketosis?
I saw the surgeon who removed my gallbladder, three years ago, today. He has since become a friend of the family and has helped us in so many ways. He is now performing lap band. Here is what I found out today:
*The Ministry of Health has a Dr. who was trained in Germany and has performed over 5000 lapbands in the Kingdom (over 200 on the Royal Family), touring the kingdom training the surgeons at the Government hospitals.
*Lapband has been in KSA for 10 years
*My doc has only done three
*Not sure if my doc will do mine or if the more experienced one will but they will both be present...one will assist the other.
I trust my dr. and the training doctor as SURGEONS. However, I feel that they do not know much about after being banded. My doc told me that only 20% of my aftercare were with him and that the rest would be with a dietician. He told me to see the dietician for a month and then report back to him for the surgery. I told him that the dietician there is not trained in bariatrics nor the band. She really can't help me. That I have been dieting on and off for over 15 years. He understood but I guess it is just procedure to say that so he is skipping that step with me. He did not require a pre-op diet and doesn't believe my liver is too big. They keep you in the hospital for 3 days but he said I could probably go home sooner (His only American patient and only patient who researches this stuff). Strange thing he said they do not do adjustments for 6 months!!! I said please...if I get hungry in 6 weeks I'm coming in! He smiled and said ok.
I have decided that I will have the surgery done at the government hospital for free but will more than likely switch over to one of the private hospitals in the area who have better aftercare. I believe the Government hospitals had the right intentions, by offering the lapband to patients who can not afford to go to private hospitals, but I think they have along way to go. They must go beyond training the surgeons on the procedure...these are not even bariatric surgeons. They are general surgeons.
Ok. I'm holding my baby now so I gotta run. Just would appreciate you guys sharing your thoughts. I do not offend easily so please give me all things to consider...the good...the bad...the ugly
I haven't posted for a while and rarely visit the board these days. I had slipped into a pretty bad funk because I have no clue when I will be banded. If you recall, I have the opportunity to be banded for free at the Government Hospital. The problem is that the WLC is newly established and the equipment hasn't arrived yet. My surgeon keeps saying that it should be here soon, but I know how these things work. It could be tomorrow or it could be forever. The last time I spoke with him he was writing a letter to the head of the Ministry of Health to remind him that he was set up and ready to go, but needs his equipment.
Today, I had to go to the hospital to have an infected ingrown toenail checked out. It has been like this for two months and has been part of my depression because I do not leave the house, as it is too painful to walk. I was given a cream, by a doctor at the clinic, a while back, but even then I suspected it needed drained. Well the dr. today asked if I had diabetes because it is healing so slow. I probably do. I have had gestational diabetes with all of my pregnancies and I have not had follow up since my son was born. I really don't want to know.
Anyway, I am scheduled to have surgery on my toe wednesday, God Willing. They will remove the root of the nail, drain and clean the absess. That got me to thinking about my weight again. If I could lose it, I may not have to worry about diabetes and these horrible infections I get from my chronic ingrown toenails. I started calling the private hospitals in my area. A few months ago I had contacted a known specialty hospital that actually has a baratric clinic and advertises for this and whose publications I have read in online medical journals about studies for the gastric band. They charge about $6500.00 for the band so I dismissed that idea and tired to patiently wait for my dr. Well I couldn't take it anymore and I called two other very good private hospitals in the area. One charged the same and the other, my favorite charges less than $4000.00. I like this hospital and always have because they are ran by a sub-government. They are paid for by the major oil companies for their employers. So they do not profit like totally private hospitals. I spoke with the dr. and he was very knowledgable about the band. Much more than my dr who I know really doesn’t know much. He is a good surgeon but has only done 3 bands and doesn’t know much more than how to put it on. This other dr. was able to discuss it with me and had done 90 bands himself. I am to have a consultation with him tomorrow and if all goes well can be banded in about two weeks!
It is amazing how good news can lift your spirits. I feel so much better. I still must work on being patient because now I am very anxious to get it over with.
You will not believe how things have improved for me, all the thanks and praise be to God!
I had my consult with my new surgeon at the hospital of my dreams. Last year I went there when I was pregnant and intended on delivering there. I saved all the money, but something came up and I wanted to help my dh out so I told him to just use that money and I would have the baby at the government hospital. He was concerned, because the government hospital is old and dirty looking and we feared catching an infection. Everything worked out fine and in the end I was pleased that ewe chose them, because my baby was trapped inside due to the adhesion from my previous c secs around the uterus and the wall off the abdomen. The emergency tea that was dispensed were great and were able to save my life and the life of my son as time was ticking for both of us.
Now this new hospital is very modern and very clean with high standards. The rooms are much better (two to a room as opposed to four at the government hospital and showers in the bathroom in your room as opposed to community showers on the ward). The surgeon is a blast. When I first walked in the room he gave me this once over look and smirked. He said, "you want the band?" I said, "yes". "what makes you think the band is for you?", I explained all my reasons. He said (quite frankly), "you have a lot of weight to lose, I think bypass is better for you". I told him how I felt about bypass in no uncertain terms and told him I had done my research and that I knew people who weighed more then m e (BMI 49) that have had great success with the band. I asked him what was the heaviest patient he ever banded. He said, "179kg BUT he was a MAN". I was not agree or offended, I actually laughed and said, "so what difference does it make". He said, "men are different they take it more serious and follow the diet and exercise program better, women tend to be excited in the beginning but fall off this is why I suggest the bypass for you". That's when I started bragging about you guys. I told him that I believe I have better resources (the support boards) than most of his patients and that I was determined to do well with the band and realized that it was only a tool. He gave me his little smug look (it was actually really cute because I love brutally honest people as opposed to people worried about being pc) and said, "ok the choice is yours when you have made up your mind come back and we can get everything started." I told him my mind was made up and that I was ready to get everything started now, because I had been waiting for over 3 months. I told him about the government hospital and he told me that they would not be prepared anytime soon as they had just completed their training and had not received their equipment or a supervising band surgeon (the surgeon who trained them floats around the Kingdom training).
He drew up all my papers and sent me to billing telling me to tell them that I wanted the complete package ($3750) other wise I would be charged for all the preop stuff. The man in billing was so nice to me it was a Godsend. He told me that I could apply to the Royal Commission for a discount, which I will do today. I have to write a letter. My doctor told me to tell them that he recommends this for me, he thinks I maybe able to get %25-%50 off, God Willing. The man in billing told me not to worry about the test and stamped them PAID IN FULL and sent me to the lab, ECG, and Chest x-ray. I got all of that done and have a surgery date scheduled for the end of the month! March 29th! I have an appointment to see the psychologist/psychiatrist? and the Endo dr. the evening before the surgery. If all goes well I can check in the hospital that night (required) and will have the surgery that morning and be released the following morning, God Willing.
I am so excited. Everything happens for a reason. A poster on my other post said that God pushed me to looking for alternative hospitals and I believe this concept is true. My dh was encouraging me to be patient and wait for the free surgery because his car is in the shop! He is contemplating buying a new one because he can't find the needed part, and was hoping he could start saving for that. I reminded him as the poster reminded me. I said, "don't you believe that this is 'Qadr Allah Wa Masha fa al' (The decree of God and this is what He has Willed)?" He said yes and accepted this. He was very pleased to find out that we may get a discount (so pleased that he did not complain about missing his tennis game so that he can go turn in my letter while I am at the other hospital having surgery on my toe). Speaking of my toe, when told that I was having surgery on it my new dr. asked to see it. He cleaned it and showed me how to properly cut my nail and stuff cotton under the nail to keep it from growing under the skin. He said that surgery wasn't necessary and that it should heal in no more than 10 days if I followed what he showed me. I am still opting for the surgery. I had it before but it keeps the ingrown toenails at bay for a few years and gives me some relief. Otherwise I get them every few months or so. I digress.
Okay guys off to composing my letter for the discount. Any words of wisdom?
Oh my am I having a dilemma. I really need some sincere advise here.
Today my surgeon/friend came to our house and I informed him that I would be banded next week. He asked who and where and I told him. He advised me to be more patient and wait until his friend/mentor/ the super surgeon who has banded over 5000 patients can do it. He said that I am like his sister and if anything were to happen to me then he would feel terrible. He would not give me a reason, just that in his opinion the surgeon does not have enough experience. He said trust him on it. So I pushed and asked why, did anything go wrong with his patients. He said the surgeon who is suppose to band me put some bands on people and the band failed and he has to then bypass them. This is what gets me. My friend/surgeon really is not an experienced band surgeon; he has only done 3 and can only do them with his proctor who is busy running around the kingdom training. I do not see the band as failing these people. What I believe is that these people were clueless on how to use the band as a tool. I know these people and I do not thank the vast majority of them can handle any WLS...not now. The surgeon who is to band me thought that I was better off with the bypass and now I know why. He is probably thinking that I will screw up like the other patients. I am different. I am informed. They do not have the resources I have (English support forums and online information...it's not in Arabic and the doctors are not really explaining how to use the band they are just putting it on and telling them not to eat sweets).
My dh said that he is considering not giving me the money now and 'forbidding' me from having the surgery this week. He did make a nice compromise. He said to find out where super doc is and he will fly me to wherever he is to be banded. I thought about it and remembered that when I was calling about to see which of the private hospitals banded, i spoke to one surgeon and asked him if he knew super doc. he said that he had many of his patients because they are left with no after care. He said he does not like taking other peoples patients but he will not just leave them out there. He said this doc is simply banding patients...that's it. Most of the hospitals he is going around do not have the proper set-up and he is just visiting them banding there overweight patients but there is nobody there to follow up with after care. So if I did get banded by him then I would have to weight for my surgeon/friend's hospital to get all their equipment and there is no telling when this will happen and in the mean time I am just blowing up. Also my surgeon friend has no experience with aftercare and would be learning on me so to speak. He would never endanger me...but still. The surgeon who is suppose to band me next week has done 90 bands, no complications. i do not consider it his fault that those other patients went back for bypasses. heck if it had anything to do with him I'm sure they would have sought out another doctor for the bypass. My dh thinks it was professional consideration or ethics that kept my friend/surgeon from perhaps telling me something that he knows about the surgeon. Dh is spooked now and is talking crazy about just locking the kitchen door until the other surgeon is available. He makes me sick with his lack of understanding.
I want to go ahead with my surgery date, but I feel my friend/surgeon will see me as impatient and foolish. I am honestly not even thinking what if something happens. I like this hospital much better than the other. The doc seems very informed about the band and how it works. I was pleased with him. My surgeon/friend is not as informed and therefore I think he may be basing his decision on something that has nothing to do with the surgeon, unless of course he isn’t telling me everything. He asked me to just trust him.
Okay guys HELP! Please do not spare me anything. Tell me like it is. I have been known to be stubborn all my life, but I do take good advice into consideration. Doesn't mean I'll change my mind but at least it gives me something to think about. I mean honestly, what is the worst that could happen...ok rather what are the odds that the worst can happen and aren’t the risk just as great with anybody?
O Lord help me...
Here's my first journal entry from another board:
I had basically given up hope of being able to lose weight until I found out about the Band. I have steadily gained weight since marriage and having children and IO can't believe how big I am.
I am an American living in Saudi Arabia. The most hope I had for losing weight was to go back on Atkins after weaning my son. Problem is I usually nurse my kids for two years and he isn't even one yet. Then I discovered the band. Not only did I discover the band but I was informed the surgeon who laproscropically removed my gallbladder was being trained to band and would soon be in charge of the WLC at his hospital. He is a family friend so I consulted with him in January about the band and he told me that as soon as the Ministry of Health sent them all the equipment, he would band me. I was excited because this would be free at the Government hospital. I was so excited that I really didn't even care that he lacked experience. I figured he could put it in and I would do the rest.
Well the hospital was taking to long to set up the WLC and I was still gaining weight. Actually my eating had gone crazy after finding out about the band. It was as if I was trying to have everything just one more time before being banded. I started calling around to other local hospitals to price the band. They were more affordable than abroad ($6500) but I still could not afford it. So I tried to patiently wait.
In the mean time I had a nasty infection from an ingrown toenail. I got it around the same time I found out about the band. I basically went into depression and stayed home off my foot for 3 months. In a away I stayed home after finding out about the band avoiding people until after the band. I don't want to meet any new people until I loose weight and I do not want to see any old friends until I have lost too. Well my depression started getting bad once I found out my surgeon was on vacation for a month. At that point I said I couldn't wait any longer, called another local hospital and found out that their package was much more affordable because it was a semi-government hospital.
I made an appointment for a consultation a little over two weeks ago. Met with the doc. Did all my testing the same day and scheduled to be banded two weeks later. I am now 3 days post op and have no complaints.
The first night in the hospital I was only allowed to eat ice chips. They were great. I actually miss them. I have tried to blend up some ice cubes at home but it's not the same. I went to GNC and bought some Ready To Drink Myoplex Protein Drinks. Some are CarbSense some are regular. So far my favorite flavor is cookies and creame I also have some Slim Fast Optimum and Carnation instant Breakfast. I am on a liquids only diet for 4 weeks. So far this is what I have eaten.
March 29th 2006 (weds day of Surgery)
March 30th 2006 (thurs)
bout 2 spoons of chicken broth from hospital
16 oz water
March 31st 2006 (fri)
Breakfast- 8oz myoplex
Lunch- 1 cup of vegetable stock
Dinner- 8oz Myoplex
Snack- 1 cup of Chicken broth
Apple juice- 2 8oz cups
water- 5 8oz cups
Update: One Week Post-Op
God is The Greatest! I can not praise Him enough. I thank Him for giving me a chance to improve my life. An a life improvement it has been...
I was banded a week ago today (3/29). To be honest I planned on coming in here posting a few observations I have made on a NSV caliber. However, I did a no - no and got on the scale a few minutes ago (I was weighed in yesterday at my docs office too). I did not do a pre-op diet.
1. There is no slippage or oozing out of fat from my bra....last week it was disgusting, now everything fits in.
2. I can clean my backside with ease. Last week I was in tears because I have short arms and it was getting very difficult and it depressed me because I new a few more gained pounds and I would need a home nurse to bath me!
3. My back pains have disappeared. I truly do not understand that as I did not expect this until I lost at least 75lbs!
4. My edema on my hands and feet are gone. There are no indents left from my socks or shoes.
5. My anxiety and stress is decreasing
6. I can wash and moisturize my feet better.
7. I enjoy taking my children to the corniche and playground again.
I have lost 17lbs!
I'm sure this is water weight and that the lost will slow down and I might even have a gain, but I feel so much better in just one week. Who would have thought that just a fraction of this weight coming off would alleviate so many of my problems.
I have not had any complications. I have no real complaints, but I am nursing my son and am concerned I may not be getting in enough calories. At night my breast are full when I put him to sleep and he nurses throughout the night but in the day time they do not feel as full. He is eating food and I still nurse him several times during the day (today I was tired and felt a bit drained). Nursing him and co-sleeping with him have also been my most physically uncomfortable moments. Not a big problem and well worth the sacrifice.
Well that's all folks
I'm still fat, but I am now 246 pounds which is my normal overweight self. The 277 that I started off was my highest weight ever. For 6 years I have always bounced back to 247 after the birt of my two daughters. Actually with both of those pregnancies I would be in the 260ties on my delivery day and then within two weeks I would loose over 40lbs and be in the 220ties, but eventually level off in the 240ties. However, when I was pregnant with my son I gained more weight, lost more weight, and then almost a year later somehow managed to be weigh more than I did on my delivery day! The last diet I was on was Atkins in 2003. I started off 247 and ended at 217. I quit after a stall. So I think I will make 215 my first mini goal, to weigh less than I did before I dropped out of my last WOE program.
Subhanallah! Today I learned the horror of being stuck. Mind you I am still on liquids (2 more days). I had a pack of Quaker's Weight Loss Oatmeal, added extra milk and blended it. I took a ate a baby spoonful of it and got stuck. I was stuck for 7-8 hours. It was not incredibly painful, but it was irrating and uncomfortable. I did not even atempt to drink anything for about 8 hours. My days total intake was about 4oz of water and a cup of broth.
I have been eating soupy Cream of Wheat for about a week now, but always had doubts about the Oatmeal. Alhamduillah for the restriction I have (no fills), because I did not have any intense hunger today. Every now and then I would think...hey I need to eat but it was a dull hunger.
Today I am 4 weeks post-op and have lost a total of 36 lbs! I am so happy. I must say that this has been easier than I thought. The recovery and the 4 week liquid diet was nothing to it! I am so thankful that I was guided to discovering the band. We go on vacation in August and I am looking forward to it. To meeting new people and visiting old friends. To not being uncomfortable. I don't have much else to report.
Alhamduillah, I finally had surgury on my big toe (right toe...right side infected) today! I have been suffering from an infected ingrown toenail for over 4 months! All year! I told the nurse as I buried my head in arm arm, that I was tightly squeezing, that the pain from the 3 injections on and around my toe of licodain was worse than my 3 c secs, gall bladder removal, and band! It was torture. I am in some pain now. I can't wait until it is completely healed, insha'Allah. I am eager to get my excercise routine started.
The past two weeks have slowed down big time in terms of weight loss. I need to buy a measuring tape, because I can tell I am getting narrower in my mid-section. I've been sticking to mushies and will move on to solids now. I had a really good protein shake that I enjoyed my first 4 weeks on the liquid stage (Myoplex ready To Drink), but the GNC here was out so I bought a variety pack of their tropical flavor Myoplex lite. It is disgusting and literally makes me sick (I get dizzy and headaches and just feel out of wack all day), so I do not take them.
I get at least 64oz of water a day but I stop counting after that, so it is really more than that. I eat about 1- 1 1/2 cups of food a meal (3x a day) and may have a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter and/or a creame cheese square or 2 as a snack in between meals. I waterload before my meals and generally wait at least one hour after to drink again but usually longer if I am out or taking a nap or just busy. I have also been walking at least 2-3 miles a day and feel fantastic!
The down side of all of this is that even though I am losing weight and feeling great, I can get bummed as soon as I look in the mirror. The reflection I see is still so fat and has such a long way to go that I get a quick reality check after moments earlier feeling light and energetic :(
Subhanallah (Glory be to God),I don't know where to start! I guess i'll start with the bad news, masha'Allah (it is what God has decreed). First, I did not get any excercise in for a week and just started back two days ago. Second, I think I have irratated my esophagus. I do not have a fill, have never pb'd or slimed but I have been feeling swollen, tight, and have a sore ichy throat. Last week we were out of town all day and I had a granola bar....SUSPECT #1! Then the next day I tried some Musli Mix High Fiber Cereal...SUSPECT #2! I supose a grain could have got stuck. I recall having the popcorn kernal feeling, and trying to cough it out slightly. Third, and this really isn't so bad but it leads up to my good news, I 'only' lost one pound in my 9th week out.
The one pound wasn't so bad considering that I had not excercised all that week, ate three pieces of KFC, and that I played taste tester for my friend's new Bakery Home Business. I promised her before the band and she said she felt bad asking me but I told her that I would do it because I wasn't really dieting anyway. I really didn't eat much. She gave me itty bitty pieces of several things....NONE OF THEM SET OFF CRAVINGS!!!! I was shocked. If that were me on Atkins it would have set off either a one week binge or I would have quit all together.
The Good News! I started back walking two days ago! I have been on liquids for two days in hope that it will relieve my irratated esophagus. My weigh in day is on wedsnesdays, so I had no intention of weighing in today (well not officially). Here goes TMI, but last night all the liquids that went in one end came out the other...it seemed non-stop. I thought that had to account for something! I was hoping it was the three pounds I wanted to lose last week to make it a nice 50lbs lost in two months. I was 230 the last time I checked. When I got on the scale this morning before my morning walk, before eating or drinking anything, and after relieving myself...I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was weighing in at 218!!!! I couldn't believe my eyes. I checked to make sure the scale was properly balanced, I woke my daughter up to put her on it to make sure it was working (lent it to my neighbors last night, who have a track record of BREAKING EVERYTHING they borrow!), I got on and off to make sure I was seeing it correctly..it kept saying the samething...218!!! 218!!! 218!!! Allahu Akbar (God is The Greatest)!!!That makes me down 59 lbs in a little over 2 months!!! I like totally skipped the 220's!!! Masha'Allah.
It is so amazing because last night I planned to updated my profile today, after I had weighed my 4 year old and realised that not only had I lost the weight of my 30lb one year old son, but that I also lost the weight of my 40lbs 4 year old. I was going to set a mini goal to lose the weight of my 55lbs 6 year old and then this morning I realised that I had!!!
Almost two years ago I started Atkins at 247lbs. In three months I was down to 217lbs. I am one pound away from that. I bought clothes then that were really nice but gave them all away to charity a few months ago because I could not foresee being that size again and it was taking up unneccesary space. Now all I have in my closet are my 'moo moo's'. I don't plan on doing any shopping any time son because I am still not a size that I want to actually wear nice clothes in yet. I will stick with my comfortable moo moo's for the time being. We go on vacation in August, insha'Allah (God Willing). Perhaps by then I will be a size that I will feel more comfortable buying new clothes in.
I thank Allah for making this all possible. I thank the rulers of this country for having free to minimum cost medical care. I thank my surgeon and his wonderful surgical team for giving me excellant care. I thank my husband for supporting me and paying for this surgury and I thank all my fellow bandsters on these forums for being there for me and other people who had or are considering wls.
I forced myself to update my profile today, because I need to be held accountable for my recent bad band behavior!
First, I'll share my good and exciting news. This week two other American Expats here in Saudicame to visit me, from another region, so that they could go to the hospital and surgeon that I went to and have the band placed. I am so happy for them. I pray that we are all successful losers!. It's nice to have a semi-local support system.
My family usualy has pancakes once a week for breakfast, but since we had guest this week we made them several times. I normally have 3-4oz of srambled eggs and one pancake (as opposed to 4 eggs and 4 pancakes preband). One day this week I went over board. i ate my pancake, half of one of the newly banded woman's son's pancake and half of my daughters pancake. I had pancakes three times this week. i also brought back the evil peanut butter in my house this week for all the extra kids that were here. well I fell victim to it's calling again. as soon as this jar is finished it will be banned again from my house, insha'Allah.
Today, I had an all out binge! I'm not sure if I need a fill (never had one really don't want one) or if I was just testing my band. I don't exactly regret it, because I always say I want to eat normal which means that if I have a day of bad food choices it's ok as long as i get back on track. I started the day fine with a cup of Cream of Wheat for breakfast. Later my daughter brought some dates and cream cheese to me and asked me to fill the dates with the cream cheese for her. I ate one. I think that set off my binge, cuz later I had some organic cookies that my guest left and my kids found. Then I had to go to the store to buy milk and salad...healthful stuff. Since banded, I prefer to send my dh to the store because the store is hazardous to my band! I saw oreos and bought them, a snickers, and a fruit and nut chocholate bar. I honestly don't know what came over me. I also ate 2 bags of chips. I don't even buy this junk for my kids anymore. Instead of chips they have mixed nuts or popcorn for snacks.
Another reason I just didn't care today is because when I got on the scale today for my weekly weigh in, it was the first time in my 12 weeks of banded life that I had not lost a pound. In the past on diets, this is the very thing that set me off on a binge or a downward slope. I am grateful that I didn't gain because have not exercised at all this week either. Tommorrow is a new day and I will rediticate myself to healthful eating and exercising insha'Allah.
Well it has been 6 weeks since my last confession...I mean update! So much has happened in these 6 weeks. I've only lost 10lbs, which is strange because for a month I was swimming and/or working out 5 days a week. I also went on vacation and for the past 3 weeks I have not worked out at all and have eaten pretty bad. So ok I guess I know why the weight loss was not much. Actually I'm grateful that I lost 1lb on my vacation because I feared that I gained. I had a Baskin Robbins Brownie Ala Mode Two Scoop Sundae on TWO occassions. A slice of cheesecake and a half slice of chocolate cake from the CHeesecake Factory! Pizza, Burgers, Fries, Fried Foods..you name it. The good thing is that I could not stuff myself like I use to, so it still really wasn't that bad.
It's been almost 5 months since I was banded and I think the time to get a fill has come. I can't be sure because TOM is here. This is the second time I have had TOM in 22 months. I had a baby was am still nursing him so it was delayed. For the past two days I have not been satisfied with my intake. I still measure and stop but find myself grazing because I am hungry between meals. I really really wanted to avoid getting a fill because I am pleased with the amount of food I eat and the time it takes me to eat it. I do not want to chew forever and take micro bites and more importantly I wanted to try my best to avoid complications that I hear about post fill.
I guess the good thing about the fill is that my weight loss may pick back up. I have lost 71lbs in 18weeks but I have had 4 weeks when I didn't lose any weight at all!
Today is weigh in day and I am down 1lb this week. I am not complaining but this adds to my confusion. I have been pondering getting a fill for a few weeks. Truth be told I am not sure I need one. I am 4 1/2 months out with no fill. Last week I experienced hunger for the first time. However, there may have been contributing factors:
1. I was on my menses. It has recently returned after 22 months. I am still breastfeeding my 15 month old son and lactating always delays the return of my cycle. Now that It's over, I no longer experience hunger.
2. I was on vacation. I really was not eating properly.
3. My helper has returned to her home country. I do not eat on time anymore. I can not eat with my kids...way to much action going on it it seems as if it will kill me to eat with them. I do not know how banded people can deal with kids and eat. As a result I do not even get my water in until late in the day and I am eating very late and staying up very late. Before my helper left I did not eat after 8pm and rarely drank after 10pm.
4. I have not excercised in over 3 weeks. At first it was because I was on vacation. Then after I returned it was a combination of my dh packing the kids (my 6 yr old and 4 year old!!!) in the double stroller and breaking it. So without my helper to watch them at the playground/beach while I walk around it, I have not excercised. As of late I just can't fit it into my day. I need to get back on my program.
5. I am a social eater. I do great when I lock myself in the house and turn down invitations, but I was invited to a few social events and ate somethings that were not beneficial to my weight loss.
Those are/were my setbacks. Yesterday, I went back to eating the way I was before all this drama and everything was just great. I had 4 oz of lemon peppewr chicken breast (boneless/skinless) and a cup of salad with romaine lettuce, cucumbers and a boiled egg. I was completely satisfied and was not hungry for more than 4 hours. Today was a very busy day and I did a lot of running around and did not even start on my water until around 7pm and just ate dinner (first meal of the day) around 8pm. It is now 11:15pm and I do not want to eat again but may have some more water. I plan on going to bed after submitting this because I want to see my surgeon tommorrow, insha'Allah.
As much as I do not want a fill (afraid of complications, ie pb, slime, stuck, slip, too tight,etc), I am still contemplating getting one tommorrow (my friend is going in to get hers and I may piggyback on her appointment). The reason being is that because of how hectic my life has been lately (by next month there should be some order insha'Allah because my oldest will be back in school and my 2 youngest will go with me to school, so the boring summer chaos will be over insha'Allah), I will grab quick fixes instead of planning my meals properly. Now that I have typed that out I do not even know how a fill is suppose to help me with that. Sounds like something I will have to work on. Okay, I guess another reason would be to step up the weight loss but to be honest once I start my excercise routine that should happen, insha'Allah. The problem is that I have no idea when I will start back.
I know I have written about this before and was advised to get a fill because the band is not meant to work without a fill, but it has worked just fine for me. I do feel myself slipping and am thinking that maybe the fill will help me. Until recent food was not even an issue for me and my sweet tooth was gone. I'm wondering if the fill will help squeeze that vargus nerve I keep reading about, that sends a message to the brain saying that it is not hungry. I was saving the fill as a life line in the event weight loss slowed down or ceased. I wonder if it is time to cash it in yet?
Well it looks like I am in ONEDERLAND!!!! I got on the scale today and I am 199lbs! It is not official yet, because I have to wait until Weds (today is Saturday) for my official weekly weigh in. Last week I got my first fill. I'm still not too sure I NEEDED it, but my doctor said go ahead, it could only help and it has. I did liquids for a week and I have done 3 days of mushy/soft foods. I may do one more (only cuz I got some left overs and new products I wanna try out). I went with my friend who was 10 weeks post op and starving. i was 20 weeks post op. The dr said that he starts all his patients off with 4cc (we have the Swedish Band it's big) and goes from there. Well my friend later said that she is still hungry and needs another fill. I had 2cc removed because the floro showed that it completely shut me off. Even after the 2cc was removed all of the barium didn't go down until I was at home. I actually could feel it trickling. I have gone from eating 2 cups 3x a day to now eating one cup of food 3x a day. Since I have not started solids yet, I can't accurately measure my restriction. I will also start back swimming tommorrow insha'Allah for thhe next two weeks until school starts back.
Post Date: September 1, 2006, 4:31 pm
Your post is a reminder of why I waited so long to get a fill and why I decideed the time was right. Similarily, to you, I got my 1st fill after 4 months. I lost over 70lbs with no fill. I was eating two cups of food and was not regularly exercising (I started walking about 3 miles a day 5 days a week when I was 5 weeks post op...b4 then nothing. Then summer vacation and no workout until hopefully next week after school starts back and I can get back to a routine). I had the hardest time getting below 210lbs (well not really difficult because I really wasn't trying but there were a few weeks where my scale did not budge). This is the point I decided to get a fill. Since my fill 2 weeks ago I have lost 7lbs and made it into ONEDERLAND...masha'Allah.
At times I wonder if I did the right thing by getting a fill. I mean, if I were a little more patient and waited until i started exercising again I may not have needed one. My plan was to not get a fill for at least 6 months because I wanted to train myself to get use to eating 2 cups of food in the event that (God forbid) something happens to my band. However, I caught myself slipping into old bad habits and was eating out of boredom and also socially. I had a small tweak of a fill (I have a Swedish Band...my dr starts all patients with 4cc of saline but had to remove 2cc from me because it closed me off).
Now I am eating one cup of food. To be honest it does not fill me up like I expected but I can feel the food filling up my stoma so I do not eat more. I really wish I remained unfilled and continued to loose eating 2 cups of food because now I fear what is happening to you will happen to me. I don't want to have to reduce my meals any more than they are. If something happens to the band, it is not realistic that I would be able to maintain eating close to nothing.
I have decided that after school starts back, next week, and I get back on an exercise regiment, then I will continue to eat 1 cup meals but I will eat them 6 times a day and not 3 times, as I am doing now. I would have done that from the start, but I really do not get my first meal of the day in until late afternoon and I don't want to eat all night. So once school starts back, I will wake up and walk (3miles)as soon as the sun comes up (while kids are sleep and dh has not left for work yet), come back and have breakfast 9oatmeal or fiber cereal) then get kids ready for school. I will walk to my morning classes and walk home (as opposed to being chauffered) and again in the early evening I will walk to my night classes and walk home (about 2 miles roundtrip). My meals will also be better scheduled and planned. God Willing!
Well that's my plan and I pray I stick to it. I don't want to starve myself to goal and I am not comfortable with pinching anymore of my stomack to reduce my food intake, because honestly I still feel like I would like more food but just can't physically eat more.
Sorry for rambling on your thread, but thanks for giving me something to think about. I think I will add my comments here to my profile just in case I need to remind myself!
I guess i'll update for accountability purposes, because I have no weight loss update to give. I've lost 7lbs since my first very small fill. I've learned that the large INAMED bands take 4cc just to fill the tube. I'm assuming that is the case with my large Swedish band. My surgeon will not give another fill before two months, so I have to weight about 6 more weeks. That's cool because Ramadan starts in a week and I probably need to eat the 2 cups permeal I am eating now, otherwise one cup may be difficult, nutrition wise. In a way I want a fill before Ramadan, because I do not want to pig out at iftar (time to break fast). In reality, that won't happen, because I could not push more than 2.5 cups of food in me even if I tried. I'm trying to come up with a Ramadan food plan. we wake up for sahour (predawn meal) at around 3-330 not sue yet. I do not drink protein shakes unless I'm on a liquid diet, but I am considering having a protein shake and a packet of Oatmeal for breakfast...of course with plenty of water. I won't beak my fast until around 6:30 and then I will eat as I normally do. I'm thinking of maybe another protein shake or a light snack before bedtime. Not sure yet.
I do know that I will be content if I maintain my weight until my next fill. Sure it would be nice to lose, but 1 cup of food is not working for me. Actually once I get the fill I want to eat 1.5 cups of food. Since my first fill, I was constipated for a week, eating one cup AND HUNGRY. When I started eating 2 cups again, by bowels became regular again, alhamduillah. I feel like a drtug addict who just needs a lil sumptin sumptin to help take the edge off. That's how I feel about my fill. I just need a lil tweak...something to help me not want to snack in between meals. Other than that I am fine.
My excercise has not become regular yet. Good news is that I am sleeping good now and don't eat after 8pm. Problem is, I can't go for my morning walk, like I planned because my daughters school bus comes at that time. In Ramadan I may be able to pull it off because she starts school later, but then I can't drink, so I don't know. I have done taebo twice. I'll try and do that at least 5x a week. I don't like my kids seeing Billy Blank in those spandex...he looks nasty and they have commented on it. I shouldn't see it either. I should burn those tapes!
My dh bought me a home gym weight circular set two weeks ago. They still haven't delivered it because one of the weights are missing. My dh told them not to worry cuz I probably will never use all the weights anyway. I also plan on getting an Elliptical Trainer. I hope that will kick start my body into losing really good. I know why I am not losing. I just have to be patient until I can get my fill and my excercise routine straight.
I went in for my 2nd fill tonight, one month after my first tweak. When I called my dr last week to ask if I could come in he said he does them every two months...policy. Well after waiting patiently for a week, I decided that I did not have WLS do suggle like this. I mean I wasn't starving or anything and surprise surprise I still managed to lose 2lbs this week, but it was taking more will power than I had.
I now have a total of 3.5cc in my 10cc Swedish Band. Funny thing, was that as soon as I called dr to say that I could not go another month without a fill, and he said come in tonight, then I got this strange tight restriction. I told him when I got there that I felt really tight all of a sudden. He said, not to worry he would check it out on the flouro. He said I was not tight but wide open and laughed when I said that I must just be crazy. I asked him to try a total of 4cc and to go from there. Same as the first time, 4cc was just sitting there and not moving. I said please do not take out so much this time, try .5cc. So he removed .5cc and it started flowing out. I hope this is a good restriction level for me. I'll try to stay on liquids until Ramadan starts, which is less than a week away.
1 week 260 -17#
2 week 253 -7#
3 week 250 -3#
4 week 241 -9#
5 week 240 -1#
6 week 238 -2#
7 week 235 -3#
8 week 231 -4#
9 week 230 -1#
10 week 218 -12#
11 week 216 -2#
12 week 216 -0#
13 week 210 -6#
14 week 210 -0#
15 week 210 -0#
16 week 207 -3#
17 week 207 -0#
18 week 206 -1#
19 week 205 -1#
20 week 200 - 5#
21 week 198 -2#
22 week 198 -0#
23 week 198 -0#
24 week 196 -2#
TOTAL = 81lbs