2nd Fill Saga--Flying to Atlanta on 9/11 on September 13, 2001 7:21 am
Well, my second fill experience started out on a good note. I was scheduled to fly to Atlanta and meet an expeirenced Bandster, Karlene from New Zealand/Tampa. We then would both drive up to Dalton for fills and deflations respectively with Dr. Ponce. We did all this--it just was more complicated than thought.
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I took off from Jacksonville at 9:00 a.m., when we landed in Atlanta at 10:10 a.m., our pilot informed the passangers that all connecting flights had been post-poned due to an "incident" in NY. We all assumed that this was a computer error with the air traffic control center or something...none of us could believe what we learned when we saw the pictures of the tragedy on CNN in the airport. The airport was in a bit of chaos. Luckily, we had a rental car reserved.
Oh, did I tell you Karlene looks fabulous??? She is two years post-op and looks great. Karlene was flying up for a deflation, as she had experienced some band slippage. Her surgeon had suggested a complete deflation combined with a liquid/mush diet for 4 weeks in hopes to fix the problem. I'll have Karlene post more on her slippage, and what may have helped prevent it. Even though she did have slippage, she has kept up with her exercise program which has kept the weight off. I can't stress enough how important exercise is. Anyway, back to the story.
National was in chaos...and basically, had everybody with a reservation line-up. Cars were given to the people in order in line...regardless of reservation. We were grateful to get a car, and ended up with a puke-green Blazer. (Note, I said puke, not PB, green. ;) For you newbies, PBing is quite different from puking.) Throughout, we contacted our family members as well as Dr. Ponce's office to let them know we were still coming.
Amazingly enough, even with all the delays, we still arrived on time for our appointments with Dr. Ponce. Dr. Ponce and Beverly were great as usual. Dr. Ponce said that he would write a special note to the radiologist telling them that I could have up to 3.5 ccs in total in my band. That seemed a lot, but I was comforted by the fact that the radiologist would not give me more than I could handle.
While Karlene was meeting with Dr. Ponce about her deflation, he told her about 50% of Bandsters have made the changes to their habits (exercise and eating) to maintain their weightloss after a deflation. That really re-emphasized to me, the importance of working on my own eating and exercising habits, and not relying solely on my band and restriction.
After meeting with Dr. Ponce, we drove to Hamilton Diagnostics for our fills/deflations. I preferred the other radiologist to this one..but he still gave me my fill, so I can't complain too much. As before, I was numbed with lidocaine--but he stopped giving me lidocaine when I winced. (It hurt last time too--doesn't mean I don't want anymore.) He then went to insert the needle, and when I said I could still feel it, he didn't seem to care at all...and pushed it in all the way. (Jerk!) Still, when it came down to the science of filling, he was very thorough. First he checked the fluid level currently in my band (1.5 ccs), and removed all of that. Sip of barium/X-ray. Then he added back 1.5 ccs, more barium/x-ray. At 1.5 ccs, he said there was virtually no restriction, which made me feel better. I had been wondering if I was imagining the lack of restriction. He then moved it up to 2.0 ccs...barium/x-ray... 2.5 ccs... barium x-ray...and 3.0 ccs. At 3.0 ccs, he said he saw slight reflux (which I couldn't feel--and wouldn't have known about without the barium), so he brought me back down to 2.5 ccs.
After the fills, Karlene and I went and checked in to our hotel--as all flights were cancelled. We spoke with Delta, and determined the best way to get home would be to drive. We'd drive first to Jacksonville, drop me off, and then Karlene would continue on to Tampa.
After that, we were good Bandsters, and went to K-Mart to buy exercise clothes and to Kroger for juices. I was so psyched. I was able to fit into 3X track pants at K-Mart and size 10 Hanes underwear. In the past, I haven't been able to shop at Mass Merch stores as I've been too big. I used to wear a size 12 in Underwear, so a 10 is exciting. Kroger in Dalton is very nice, and we found lots of yogurt and juices.
We feasted at Cracker Barrel (veggie soup, mashed potatoes, and apple sauce) and went to bed...after watching hours upon hours of news coverage.
Wednesday, we woke up, exercised, and then began our drive back to JAX. I became very aware of my new restriction with breakfast, where I could barely drink a 1/2 cup of juice. I soon discovered that the barium was causing me horrible diarrhea and cramps!! Karlene told me that the key is to drink lots of water following a barium swallow. Nobody had ever told me that before--so take heed. We drove throughout the morning, chatting about banding and life, and stopped for lunch in Macon, GA, just south of Atlanta. The Olive Garden was very nice to us, and pureed our pasta e fagioli soup for us. It tasted delicous and decadent. We continued on in the rain...stopping for my barium problem along the way.
We finally arrived in JAX at 7:00 p.m., having left Dalton at 9:30 a.m. There were police guarding the airport, but they let us in to return the rental car. Instead of returning it, we added Karlene as a driver, and she finished driving it on to Tampa.
Karlene was fabulous. She is a very cool person, and very fun to be stuck in a crisis with. I can't imagine getting through all that without her.
It was a fill, I'll never forget!
Another Fill? Food tips... on September 6, 2001 7:19 am
Well, I scheduled my second fill for next week. My weight loss had stopped (of course it started back up again, after I made the appointment ;))...and I found myself worried about the quantities I was able to eat. Strangly, I found that after I ate more normal amounts, my weight loss started up again. I need to remember this experience, so I don't freak the next time it happens. I think I may not have been getting in enough calories--and my body just began to hold onto everything a little tighter.
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I don't count calories or fat grams, but what I do try and be aware of is both protein and fiber. Many people on the board say get 60 grams in a day. That is pretty much impossible for me, but I do check the protein content on what I eat, and strive for things that are higher. I also count fiber. There's a real risk for me not to get enough fiber in, as I'm not eating too much. Adding a bowl of berries in the morning, and switching to low-fat triscuits and Wasa bread has helped.
Yesterday, we got the pictures back at work from our volunteer episode. It amazes me that how different my weight can appear in different photos. I looked really fat and bloated in these pics--not a good fat. Still, I will be glad if I can see a difference in the pics we take at the Office Christmas Party.
Oh--I have some secret weight goals, that I'll tell you all. I'd like to weigh 250 by my birthday, October 9th, and 230 by Christmas. I may be pushing the first goal a bit, but I do believe the 230 is do-able