Friday, October 9, 2009

I know, I know!

I wanted to be one of those people that posts in their blog everyday. In reality, I knew it wouldn't happen. So it has been 2.5 months since my last post. I work two jobs and go to school, so finding time to do anything I WANT to do is very difficult.

Currently (just weighed myself about 5 minutes ago), I'm down 33lbs. I'm not going to beat myself up and wish it had been more, although I DO wish it had been more, because that's a pretty big loss in a short time. Most of it, though, was lost pre-surgery.

Since the beginning, I had never felt any restriction. During the crucial first few weeks, I was very careful about what I was eating. After that, not so much. I've been staying away from foods that will get me in trouble, like ice cream, but I'm definitely eating foods that I shouldn't be (from a carb/caloric standpoint). I have been eating less in one sitting (and in general) than I did pre-surgery, but not by a huge difference. Like I'd be able to eat 2 pieces of pizza rather than 3. For over two months, I could eat anything and never had anything "stuck".

My first fill was about 5 weeks after surgery (9/3). Here's what I posted on LapBandTalk about it


Ok, so I had my first fill two days ago.

First thing, the doctor starts pressing into my stomach, trying to find the port. That hurt like a bitch. I swear, it must have been like 6 inches down or something, lol.

So he gets the needle and sticks it in. I didn't even feel that. Kind of a weird feeling... Then I felt liquid burst into my insides. You know how if you squeeze on a bottle that's clogged and then it suddenly gets unclogged and squirts everywhere? That's how it felt inside of me because he missed! Twice.

So he finally gets it into the port and has me take a drink. Everything felt fine. He says, "Ok, I'm going to have you sit up while the needle is still in." Oh, great. So I sit up with this huge needle sticking inside of me, haha. Take another drink. All good.

So I ended up with 3 needle sticks. I really didn't feel any pain from it at all. The only thing that hurt was him pressing on my stomach.

I thought my port was underneath my main surgery incision, but it's not. It's like 3 inches below it. Basically, I have no idea where my port is. Seems like it's pretty deep, though.

Also.... still don't really feel any restriction. I was filled 2cc during surgery. And then for my fill, another 2cc.


After my first fill, I didn't feel any more restriction than I had prior to the fill. My weight, for the next month, seemed to bounce around between 233 & 234. By the time of my next fill (10/5), I had lost only 5lbs (according to their scale).

This fill only took a couple minutes to do. The doctor found the port immediately and it was done. He put in 1cc (because I still had no restriction) and he said he thinks this should do the trick. If not, he told me, I should call after a week and they'd get me in sooner for my next. If all is well, my next one is scheduled in a month.

My doctor's instructions are that I should have liquids for the first few hours and then I'm able to eat a normal dinner. That night I just had soup for dinner. The next day I had 2 eggs (went down fine, didn't feel full, though). For lunch I had a small salad (which I only ate some of), a small piece of bread, and a little bit of chicken marsala. I'm not sure if I felt FULL, but I didn't eat too much and took home lots of leftovers.

The next day I tried eating a grilled cheese sandwich and got a little stuck. I think I had gotten stuck on an English muffin a few weeks earlier, but it only lasted about a minute. Definitely doesn't feel great. The grilled cheese was after eating about half of it. I chewed well, but I know people have problems with bread. So that only lasted a couple minutes and I stopped eating for a while. Couple hours later I ate the salad I had planned on eating during lunch. That night I had a salad and a little bread (which went down fine).

The next day, I tried eating bread again at lunch and it got stuck after the first bite (just for a minute). So I just ate the meat and was fine. Haven't attempted bread since, lol.

I can't really tell if I'm getting full or not yet. Sometimes I just stop eating before I even get to that point. I'll see how it is after a couple more days.

The good news is that I've lost 3 lbs since my fill (4 days ago), so hopefully my weight will start going down after having been stuck at the same weight for almost a month. I really wish I could exercise, but I just don't have the time to do it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Surgery Day

Until today, I haven't really been up to posting about the surgery, which I'm sure is understandable. :)

My surgery was scheduled for July 28. On Monday (the 27th), they called and let me know what time to be there. Unfortunately, it was 6:15am (ew). But hey, better to get it over with earlier. So I drove over to Palm Bay Hospital with my mom and we got there ~6am. Sat in the waiting room a couple minutes until the lady called me over to sign the consent forms and get my bracelet. She then told us to go around the corner to the pre-op room (whatever it's called). I got undressed, put on the gown, and got into the bed. A nurse came over and to give me all my medications. She numbed my hand before she put the IV in. I was given:

Decadron - Anti-inflammatory & anti-emetic (prevent nausea)
Versed - Sedative/relaxation
Zofran - Blocks chemicals that cause nausea/vomiting
Reglan - Increases stomach emptying and decreases nausea/vomiting/heartburn/fullness
Zantac - Decreases gastric acid secretions
Heparin - Anticoagulant

The funny part is that she says, "The good thing is that we're going to be giving you all your medications through your IV'. I say, "What about the Heparin?" She's like, "Oh, yeah...that's true. And I usually pride myself on my honesty". So after a little while she gets the needle ready for the Heparin shot. Another nurse sees it and goes, "Oh, ouch". LOL!! Thanks, lady. So she pinches my stomach and injects it. It burned, but it wasn't horrible. So I was like, "That wasn't so bad". But then the burning gets worse after the needle is taken out! Ok, still wasn't horrible... but it didn't feel good.

The anesthesiologist comes in and talks to me. Then the anesthesiologist assistant comes in. Then a couple nurses (one guy, one girl). Then they wheeled me off to the OR. Once I got into the OR, I slid over onto the operating table. They put an oxygen mask over my face. Next thing you know, I'm waking up in the recovery room. I don't remember falling asleep at all. I don't really remember what happened after I was woken up, either. Everything was really blurry. Luckily (and due to several medications that prevented nausea), I wasn't nauseous after surgery at all. One of the first things I remember saying was asking if I had a hiatal hernia, which they said I did not. Surgeon came by. I was told the surgery went great, no problems whatsoever, blah blah. They gave me a picture of my stomach with the band, but it disappeared and didn't come home with us. And I'm not sure if the nurse in the recovery room knew much about this surgery, lol. First she asked me if I wanted some soda/Ginger ale. I'm like, "Huh?" Later on she asked if I had gotten the band or if I was there for a fill, because she thought I was just there for a fill. Oooook. At one point I got up and went to the bathroom. Ow. Getting up hurt like a bitch. But I could pee, yay! Even if it was like... pee, stop, pee, stop, pee, stop instead of a steady stream.

My mom also came in to see me, which I found out was like 1-1/2 hours after the surgery. She was in the waiting room and was told someone would get her, but they never did. So she went to the desk and asked if she could see me. They said yes, but that she couldn't stay, because it was too crowded in the room. So she came and said hi, then left. I tried to get some sleep, but couldn't... There were men on both sides of me that SNORED and I'm a very light sleeper. Plus, it was just really loud in there. And those compression stockings were annoying. And I had a blood pressure cuff that took my blood pressure every 5 minutes.

So eventually I went home. Someone came in and helped me get dressed. I'm usually very worried about being naked in front of other people, but I just really didn't give a shit. So my mom drove me home. I sat in the recliner most of the day, other than to get up and walk a little bit. Painkillers don't really work very well for me, so I was in a lot of pain.

The surgeon also filled me up about 2cc. I was able to drink just fine. Didn't have to do a barium swallow or get any other shots. They also didn't weigh me, but I know I lost 10lbs on the pre-op diet (which was just 7 days). I lost 5 prior to that and another 5 since the surgery. Surgery lasted 1.5 hours.

Before the surgery, I had acid reflux. Haven't had any. Before the surgery I had this weird single hiccup thing I did like 30 times a day. Haven't done it once.

That's about it... Will post about the following days later.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Surgery tomorrow!!

Holy crap, I can't believe my surgery is tomorrow. Until now, it's been this dream-like fantasy. Now it's REALLY REAL.

The hospital called and told me to be there at 6:15am (ew). My surgery is scheduled to begin at 7:30am. Well, at least it's done early. I'm so excited I have off like a week of work, LOL.

Well, getting everything ready for tomorrow, so I better be off!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

15lbs down!

Hey, this pre-op diet ain't so bad! I know I should be getting more calories in, though. I've only had two protein shakes today. And water. I'm not even hungry.

But yeah... I'm down 3 more pounds since yesterday! Last night even.

I really need to take some "Before" pictures! Maybe I'll do that right now. Kind of iffy about posting them right now, though. =/

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Surgery in 3 days!!

Alright, so I'm FINALLY updating this blog. Since my last appointment with the surgeon, I'd just been waiting to hear from the insurance company about whether I was approved or not. I meet the weight requirements and have other conditions that are caused by or aggravated by obesity, so I thought I was ok there. What concerned me was... possibly not having a full 5-year weight history, since I didn't have insurance for 2 years. I had 2004, 2005, 2008. The other thing was not having documentation for previous diet attempts. I've tried tons, but it was basically just them taking my word (well, the drug study was mentioned in my medical records). So waiting waiting....

At this point I had lost about 5lbs from the consult to the pre-op visit with the surgeon. Several days before my pre-op diet started, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, which really wasn't excessive or anything. We celebrated my sister's birthday the night before, so I had cake & ice cream.

Tuesday (7/21) I started my 7-day pre-op diet, which is a low carb, liquid diet. So that means... broth, water, sugar-free beverages, yogurt, cottage cheese, protein shakes, etc... I had planned on going to the grocery store and GNC to load up on these types of foods over the weekend, but it didn't happen. So Tuesday I had:

- 1/2 c. Cottage Cheese
- 1/2 bottle of Isopure (Alpine Punch)
- 2 c. Egg Drop Soup
- 1 c. Wonton Soup (without the wontons, of course)
- 1 carton EAS Protein Shake (Chocolate Fudge)
- 2 Sugar-Free Jellos

Yes, I was pretty hungry all day, but not to where I was ready to chew someone's leg off.

Day 2:
- 1 carton EAS Protein Shake
- 1 c. Egg Drop Soup
- 2 Jellos (SF)
- 1 Powdered Protein Shake (Gold Standard - Double Rich Chocolate) w/ 1-1/2 cups Skim Milk

Day 3:
- 1 carton EAS Protein Shake
- 2 Jellos (SF)
- 1 c. Wonton Soup (without wontons)
- 1 Powdered Protein Shake (Gold Standard - Double Rich Chocolate) w/ 1-1/4 cups Skim Milk
- 3 sugar-free popsicles (Orange, Fruit Punch, Raspberry Ice)

Day 4:
- 1 carton EAS Protein Shake
- 3 Jellos (SF)
- 1 c. Hot & Sour Soup (soup part only, not all the tofu, etc..)
- 1 Powdered Protein Shake (Gold Standard - Double Rich Chocolate) w/ 1-1/4 cups Skim Milk

And today is Day 5 and all I've had so far is 1/2 a protein shake (powdered). I'm already pretty grossed out with this kind, even though I thought it was really good the first time I had it. It has a weird flavor. If it had a more chocolate taste, I'd be fine with it. I might try to go buy some sugar-free chocolate syrup so that I'll tolerate it better. And I did buy a Magic Bullet about a month ago, to be prepared, which I've used several times now. It's awesome!

Ok, onto the good stuff.... Insurance was submitted on the 7th of July. I called the insurance company on the 17th to see if they received the documents (that was my excuse) and to see if there was an updated status. She said it was still Pending and they'd let me know by mail. Blah blah blah...

On Tuesday (the 21st), I e-mailed Rebecca at the surgeon's office and asked her a question about the pre-op testing and casually mentioned waiting for the insurance. She responded that she had called the previous day and they said it was in review and the insurance company didn't seem to care that my surgery was going to be the following Tuesday. She e-mailed me again a couple hours later and said she called again and they said it was Pending and would contact them by mail when it was approved/closed. Well, shit, time is running out! Didn't hear anything Wednesday. On Thursday morning Rebecca called me and told me it was approved, yayyyy!!!!!! I was so worried we would have to push back the surgery if the insurance wasn't approved in time. I have two jobs, so it's a pain in the ass to have to request off. One job is very flexible, but the other I had to request off like 3 weeks in advance!

Alright, so weight loss... I started out the pre-op diet at 258.5. Day two, later in the day, it went down to 256. Day three, 254.5. Day four, 252.5. And this morning it was 251.

I haven't cheated at all on my diet, not even a nibble. Right now I'm not even hungry. I mean, I could eat... but I want real food, lmao. Since I'm not getting it, I'm cool. I'll eat some soup in a little while. And since day 2, I've had a constant headache, most likely from sugar withdrawals - since I'm a carb-a-holic! It's better today than it has been the past two days, so I'll survive. :D

This morning I went and got my pre-op test done. I was expecting like... EKG, barium swallow, etc.. No. All I did was get blood drawn and peed in a cup. I woke up early for that!? Today I'm going to clean my house and tonight I'm going to a Bunco's party at my parents' house. There's going to be sooo much food and I'm going to hate life, LOL!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Slacking on updating...

Lots has happened and I will update within the next couple days! I've just been super busy and/or exhausted.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Insurance submitted and surgery date set!

Been a busy busy week, so I haven't had time to update. Working two jobs will do that to ya!

I got all my paperwork for the insurance in order. When I went to my appointment on Monday (June 6th), I handed it over. I was thinking I'd be getting all the tests done then, but I guess it was just his last opportunity to talk with me and explain the diet, etc... I really love the people in that office. It's a very comfortable atmosphere, they're all really nice, and you can tell they care. I'm so glad I chose them. But yeah... They told me that they hadn't received the letter from the psychologist yet, which she told me she would send over LAST week. So they called and found out that she had a death in the family and they would fax it over the following day.

Dr. Domkowski took my picture for my "Before". He even told me I was photogenic. I was like, "Uh, not really!" Haha! He said I had a beautiful smile. Then he later told me he could tell that I'm a very educated and smart woman. Wow, I need to keep coming back to his office!

So we looked over the calendar and he said he wants to set my surgery up for the 28th!!!! So I have a surgery date even before the insurance had been submitted. Hopefully that doesn't curse it and cause it not to happen. He said he's expecting to hear back from the insurance company by the week prior to surgery, but he's going on vacation around that time and doesn't want to do the surgery and then have to leave immediately afterwards.

I go back out to the waiting room and there's a couple women waiting out there. One of them asks me if I have a surgery date and I told her I did. She said she's scheduled for some time in August and the other woman didn't have a date yet. So I saw my first fellow bandsters!

Dr. Domkowski handed me a prescription for Lortab (EEK!). I had to ask them if there's something else instead because the last time I took Lortab I had a huge chemically-induced panic attack and went to the E.R. because I thought I was dying. I was throwing up, had chest pains, a fear-chill (that's what I call it) ran from the tips of my toes to the follicles of my hair! So he gave me a prescription for Dilaudid instead (which I'd never even hear of). Supposedly it's 8-10 times stronger than Morphine? Whoa!

The following day is when Rebecca (the office chick) submitted my paperwork to the insurance company. This waiting and anticipation is insane!!

On Thursday I decided to go to a support group meeting. Because it's closer to my office than my home, I decided to stay late at work and then sit at Barnes and Noble for a little while and read. The meeting starts at 7pm (I had actually thought it was 7:30) at a church. I pull up and there's about 4-5 people standing outside a little building next to the church. I walk up there, thinking I'm 15 minutes or so early. Turns out I'm really 15 minutes or so LATE, but the coordinator of the meeting NEVER EVEN SHOWED UP! No one knew anything about it. So I guess it's kind of good, because I would have been late and completely embarrassed! There were a couple other people there for the first time. There were about 8-9 of us there and 3 (including me) haven't had the surgery yet. I believe I was the only one with an actual date, but I could be wrong. Another girl was waiting to hear back from the insurance company, as well. Everyone was really nice and talkative, surprisingly. Even though the person who ran it never showed up and we were left standing outside (sprinkled a bit at one point), we still stood around for 45 minutes to an hour, just talking. About what it was like after surgery, getting "stuck", PB-ing, and protein shakes.

I still need to stock up on protein stuff. I'm still trying to figure out which ones I should get. And someone told me about Sugar-Free DaVinci Gourmet Syrups, so I'm definitely going to be checking those out! The flavors I want are: Caramel, Hazelnut, Peanut Butter (possibly not, because artificial PB kind of scares me!), Praline, and Raspberry.

So that's it for now! I'll be starting my liquid diet on the 21st! The worst part will be playing Buncos at my parent's house on the 25th. Everyone brings in an appetizer type dish to share. Man, that's gonna be rough (not being able to eat anything).