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Surgeon TestimonialJamie McDowellI have nothing but wonderful things to say about Dr. McDowell. I first met him at a LapBand seminar that I attended in January 2007 and immediately liked him. He was very approachable and easy to talk to. I waited until January 2008 before making the decision to go ahead with the surgery. It had been a year since I saw Dr. McDowell and I was slightly nervous that perhaps I should have looked into another surgeon -- that is until he came into the room and I was able to talk to him. I instantly remembered why I liked him so much and I was completely at ease. He has such a great bedside manner. He's very caring and he is extremely thorough, especially when it comes to answering your questions. I had my surgery in February and there were no complications at all. Everything went very smoothly and I knew I was in good hands. I definitely feel I made the right choice by choosing Dr. McDowell. He's always very positive and encouraging when I see him during my monthly fills as well. The only thing I wish is that he saw patients more than one day a week. He currently is only at the Metabolic Surgery Center on Fridays so if Friday is a bad day for you, that could be a problem. Otherwise, you can't go wrong by choosing Dr. McDowell. I am very happy with my decision and have no regrets whatsoever. He's great!
- Travel - My goal is to travel to at least one new destination every year.
- Dogs - I love all dogs, especially mine! She's a dachshund/min-pin mix and super cute!
- Writing - I have kept a journal since I was 17 and would love to write a novel some day.
- Interior Decoration - I love decorating and am obsessed with the HGTV channel!
- WLS in your 20's
Birthday Girl on August 13, 2008 2:24 pm
My 25th birthday was 2 days ago. And I just realized that tomorrow will mark 6 months since I have had my surgery. Time is really flying by.
I've lost 40 lbs in that time. Everyone tells me that they can tell I'm losing, that I look good, etc. but I am still not very happy with my progress. I thought I would be down at least 50 lbs by now. If not more.
I've been struggling with getting good restriction. First, I wasn't getting enough. Then my last fill made me too tight. I could barely eat anything. I was living on broth, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. Even scrambled eggs made me sick. So after two weeks of hoping it would go away, I went back to Dr. McDowell and he took .5 cc's out of my band. I lost 6.5 lbs during that two weeks time, which made me happy. But now I feel like I can eat too much. And I have gained 3 lbs back!
I don't know. It's frustrating. I am beginning to think it might be better to be too tight than not tight enough. Maybe I shouldn't have had anything taken out of the band. I wanted to be able to go out and celebrate my birthday though. And I did. More than once! I went out to dinner (Italian) on Saturday night and then out with friends for drinks after. I only had 3 Miller Lites though. And then on Monday (my actual birthday), I went out with friends to Cabana. I was so happy that I was able to eat my dinner and not get sick. I had grilled lemon pepper trout and it was delicious. I was even able to eat birthday cake! And 2 mango martinis.
A week ago, I was down 43 lbs. Since the birthday splurge and having .5 cc's removed from my band, I've put 3 of those lbs back on. So I'm trying to be really good from here on out. I'm even thinking of going back to my pre-op diet for two weeks. I'm going on a cruise in a month and I'd be thrilled if I was at least 10 lbs lighter by then. So I might try the pre-op diet again. It really wasn't so terrible.
Today I was going through OH and looking at the people who had surgery around the time I did. I feel like they have all lost more weight than me. Granted, most of them had RNY... but still. I guess I wonder if I made the wrong decision by choosing Lap Band over RNY. I just felt like it was a lot safer. RNY scared me. The complications and recovery also scared me. I thought Lap Band was the way to go.
And you know, it probably was. I have always known that it is a slower process than RNY. It takes longer to lose the weight. But you get there eventually. I just wish I was getting there faster. And I know part of that is my own fault.
I think I am going to really try and not go out as often. I know that is part of the problem because I love going out. But going out to eat and drinking empty calories (alcohol) is not helping me reach my weight loss goals. And that really is the most important thing right now.
I need to be more dedicated about going to the gym, too. I was doing so great for a while. And then I started traveling a lot for work and I have completely slacked off. I need to get back on track.
Okay so my goal is to lose 10 lbs by the time I leave for my cruise. I have four weeks to do that. I think I can do it! I just have to be more dedicated about eating smaller portions and working out at least 5 times a week.
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Restriction & Changes on July 9, 2008 2:38 pm
Well I am certainly getting A LOT more restriction than before. I keep discovering more foods that just don't work for me anymore. I have been bringing Lean Cuisine lunches to work with me for a long time. The one I brought today was chicken, rice and broccoli and I had a very hard time. The rice was definitely getting stuck in my band. I remember rice being a problem food (on the list I was given) for some patients, but until today, it never was for me. I couldn't eat it. I was feeling some pain and my stomach was making all kinds of noises, too. I could tell it was stuck. Luckily, it finally went down and it stopped hurting. Not a good feeling though. It makes me never want to eat rice again!!
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So since I couldn't eat my lunch, the only thing left was my sugar-free pudding cup. Needless to say, I am very hungry now. Or maybe I just think I am? Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out if I am actually hungry or if it is just head hunger. Okay, my stomach is growling really loudly. I guess I AM hungry!
I started writing down everything I eat in a journal. I used to do this and it worked well for me. Yesterday I didn't do so well. Not only did I go out to dinner/drinks with friends, but I ordered chicken fingers (BAD!) and it came with fries (WORSE!). Then when I got home, I ate watermelon... and then some crackers!! After I wrote it all down, I was like, "Wow, this was a horrible day. I don't even know why I ate when I got home. It's late and I wasn't even very hungry."
That is the hardest thing for me. During the day while I am at work, I rarely have any cravings. But after dinner, I want to snack. I am trying to make a rule that I don't eat after 8:30 p.m. It's hard to stick to it though because I am young and I go out a lot. And people in their 20s don't generally eat dinner early. We eat late, go out late, and stay out late.
I have actually been thinking about toning down some of my socializing. I never thought I would say that, but it is getting harder and harder to stick to my workout regimen (I have SERIOUSLY been slacking) and I know that working out is soooo much more important than going out. Even if going out is more fun! In the long run, I will be happier that I have worked out and lost more weight. Going out a lot just makes my weight loss more of a struggle because without exercise, the pounds come off much slower. So I need to tone it down. Now I am not suggesting I become a hermit or a shut-in. However, I'm thinking of going out only 3 nights a week instead of the 4 or 5 nights I do now. Yes, I really am a social butterfly.
But this butterfly needs to get her butt to the gym. I need to start exercising EVERY DAY. No more excuses. Happy hour can no longer be an excuse! I want to start losing more weight and the only way I can do that is to become more dedicated to eating healthy foods and working out. So I have to do it. It's really that simple.
4th Fill on June 30, 2008 2:13 pm
I saw Dr. McDowell on Friday and had my 4th fill. When Laura weighed me, I saw I was down 6 lbs from the last time I was there. I was glad to see a loss and not a gain, like last time. I know it was only one pound, but that one pound was very discouraging.
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I still feel like I should have lost more weight by now. I know that when my cousin and uncle had LapBand, they were on liquids for three weeks after surgery and then they moved into soft foods. They lost a lot of weight during that time. I'm sure it was miserable, but sometimes I wonder if I would be happier with my weight loss if I had done it that way.
I've listened to Dr. McDowell though. I really do listen to everything he says. He told me on Friday that he knows I am going to do so well with my band because I am a model patient. I thought that was sweet. He knows I am trying. He also knows I travel a lot with my job and that I have been trying very hard to make smart choices, especially when I eat out.
The fill went well. He originally wanted to put me up to 8 cc's, but that didn't go over so well. He always has me take big drinks of water right after the fill and it always goes down with no problems. Well, not this time. I guess 8 cc's was too much because it didn't feel right and the water wasn't going down. So he took out 1 cc and now I am a 7 cc's.
He told me that the 4th and 5th fill are usually the ones where patients really start getting good restriction. I think he's right. I can already tell. I am not able to eat as much and have found some foods are just not good choices anymore. I haven't had problems eating roast beef from the deli before... well I had some over the weekend and it took me FOREVER to eat one slice. I kept chewing and chewing... and even then it didn't feel right. So I think my roast beef days are over.
Tonight I am going to Hillsboro Village to meet up with friends for dinner and drinks. I am not sure what I am going to order. I'm thinking maybe fish or a burger, minus the bun. And only 2 Miller Lites. That's the max I am allowing myself these days.
I am going to Indianapolis for the 4th. I'll be visiting family and then driving to Ft. Wayne for my best friend's bridal shower -- part of my MOH duties. I'm excited because I will get to see my mom. I haven't seen her since February when she came to take care of me after my surgery. Hopefully she will notice a weight loss. I'm down 36 lbs.
Disappointed on June 16, 2008 7:52 am
Well it's been 4 months since I had surgery. I feel like I should have lost more weight than I have. Last month, I didn't lose anything at all. I actually gained one pound. I blame it on traveling for work (I spent 2 1/2 weeks on the road), eating out too often, and not going to the gym as much as I should.
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This month has been better. I feel like I am starting to get back on track. I have been trying to really count my calories and eat foods with more protein. Plus, I am finally starting to feel some restriction. I pretty much avoid eating bread now because it usually makes me feel sick. I have yet to throw up, but I get really bad pain... almost like a heartburn feeling... right after I have eaten something bad. It feels almost like it is stuck in my band. And eventually it passes through and I feel better, but it leaves me not wanting to eat that food ever again. I used to go to Subway like 2-3 times week and now I find myself not even wanting to go because the bread is too much for me. Or if I go, I'll get a salad instead.
I have been battling with the scale for the past 2 weeks. I weigh myself every day. Often twice a day. That's probably not good, but I am being honest. I know I am doing better as far as what I am eating, but I have been drinking a lot more than I normally do. See, I am on a kickball team and we have weekly happy hours. That combined with all of the summer BBQs I have been invited to -- I have been drinking much more than I am used to. And it isn't like I have been getting drunk. I try to limit myself to no more than 3 Miller Lites. Still, I know alchol is just empty calories. Unfortunately, I am young and very social so it is just a part of my life.
Three months from now, I will be on a cruise with my mom. I'm taking her on a 4-day cruise for her 50th birthday. I really want to lose 25 lbs before I go. I think that is very attainable, but I have to buckle down. I am actually considering doing liquids for a week because I know that help me quickly drop a lot of weight when I was on my pre-op diet. I've also been thinking of going on this 21-day fast that I read about. Apparently Oprah is doing it... haha. I don't know, I need to look into it more and probably talk it over with Laura, the nutritionist at Baptist.
I'm supposed to get my next fill on Friday, but I am moving my appointment back a week because my best friend is coming to visit this week and she'll be here. So I think I'll just go next week instead.
So far this year, I have lost 34 lbs. I know that seems like a fairly impressive amount, but I lost 15 lbs before my surgery. So I've really only lost 19 lbs since then. Over 4 months.
I'm not going to get discouraged though. This is the first month that I have really felt any restriction at all. Dr. McDowell said he thinks my next fill might put me at my "sweet spot" and once I get there, the weight is going to start coming off quicker because the restriction will be perfect.
I hope so. I feel like I have been trying a lot harder this month.
I can tell I am losing weight. I know a ton of my clothes are falling off me. Last night, I went through my closet and boxed up a bunch of things to sell on ebay. And last week, I bought a tank top at Old Navy and the XL was too big. I was really shocked, but happy.
I turn 25 on August 11th. I've already bought this really cute sundress that I plan on wearing on my birthday. It's a little bit snug now, but hopefully by then it will be more comfortable. It's green and white and really adorable. I have the perfect earrings to match, too.
Moving Along on April 9, 2008 7:04 am
Well I had my second fill last week. I lost 8 lbs since my previous visit four weeks earlier. I wasn't exactly thrilled with that, but it is what it is. I still didn't have much restriction. I think the next four weeks will be better because I have started working out 4 times a week now. I wound up canceling my YMCA membership and joining Curves because it was about $10 a month less expensive. So far, I really do like it. I am going there 3 times a week and then doing cardio once or twice a week at my apartment complex gym. I also joined a kickball team so now I have games once a week. And that is actually really fun exercise!
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I got out my spring/summer wardrobe and I am happy to see that some of the dresses that were too snug last year are fitting perfectly now. And some of my skirts and capris are falling off me!
I have been getting asked out a lot lately. I don't necessarily attribute this to the weight loss, but perhaps it has me feeling more confident and that likely has something to do with it. I guess it is all tied in together. Anyways, I have a lunch date today and then another date on Saturday. I wore a really cute dress today. Maybe I'll get a coworker to take a picture of me so I can post it. Too bad it's raining... but hey, at least my PINK umbrella coordinates with my dress! :)
I’m 24 years old and I have been struggling with my weight for most of my life. I can remember being in middle school and dreading the day that everyone had to line up and get weighed and measured during gym class. My parents divorced when I was 12 and things only got worse from there. It was a very messy divorce and as an only child, I felt like I was caught in the middle. I turned to food for comfort and by the end of 7th grade, I had gained 50 lbs. Since then my struggle with weight loss has been an emotional rollercoaster. I have successfully lost weight (as much as 55 lbs) by dieting, exercising with a personal trainer, prescription weight loss drugs, over the counter diet pills, Atkins, South Beach, Slim Fast, etc. but it seemed like I could never keep it off. Something would happen and slowly, but surely, I would gain all of the weight back and then some.
It’s depressing. I have clothes in my closet that range from size 14-24. I have two dresser drawers full of college and sorority t-shirts that no longer fit, but I am hanging onto them because I know I’ll be able to wear them “some day”. Those two words have been in my vocabulary for too long. Some day I will lose weight. Some day I will get in shape. Some day my “skinny clothes” will fit again.
I’m young. For someone who is obese, I’m fortunate that I am still in very good health. But for how long? If I keep waiting around for “some day” to come, I know that won’t be the case.
I’m tired of some day. I’m ready for some day to start today. To start now.
I’ve been thinking about WLS (specifically Lapband) for over a year now. My aunt and my cousin have both had the surgery and have had tremendous success with it. I went to a seminar about Lapband last January, but wasn’t sure if I was ready for it. I wanted to try one more time to see if I could lose the weight on my own. After yet another failed attempt to lose weight and keep it off, I made the decision to have Lapband. I submitted a request to my insurance in October 2007 and it was denied because of a policy exclusion. Fortunately, our health benefits changed and under my new policy, WLS is covered if you meet certain criteria. I submitted my request again on January 3rd and on January 11th, it was approved.
After completing a two-week pre-op diet, I had my surgery on February 14th.
Some day is finally here and I’m ready for it.