Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two Week Bandiversary

Today I am two weeks out from surgery, and feeling great.  The bruising and swelling around my incisions is all gone.
Remember I said I was having that horrible back pain that the doc said was gas.  I didn't believe him or the nurse and was sure something was really wrong (however I did not go to medical school).  It got so bad I was actually taking my pain medication at night just so I could fall asleep!  Well, lo and behold (TMI alert), yesterday, without warning, the gas flood gates opened up with a vengeance.  It's all gone, and so is the back pain!  I'm just so glad we weren't out in public, and I have an understanding husband!  I'm feeling like 'me' again, and that feels great.
So, tomorrow is the big day.  I get to move on to the next phase of the plan, 'pureed foods'.  I have to review my food list to see what I can have but I do know one of the things is mashed potatoes.  Now, I know I can't have them like my Mom would make them, butter is out of the question, but I don't care.  I'm just so looking forward to having something warm at dinner time.  I looked on line to find low fat recipes and most of them agree you should use low fat sour cream instead of butter.  I'll give it a try.
I'll be posting my weight loss again on Saturday but I can say that I am happy that all my pants are loose, even fresh out of the dryer.  It's been a long time since I've been able to say that.  It's all about the little victories.
Until next time, be well.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Weigh In

Well, today's my official weigh in day.
Since surgery I'm down 8.6 pounds.  Add that to my 6 pound pre-op weight loss for a grand total of 14.6.  
I'm pretty darn pleased with that number, but of course I wanted a round 15!  I know, it's never good enough.

I was even happier with my loss to date when I started reading some of the on line forums.  So many people have been on there complaining of no weight loss at all since surgery.  I remember the doc telling me that this is a time to heal and the weight loss will come later, but I still don't get it.  How can you not lose weight if you're following the liquid diet?  Well, I think just I've answered my question.  I've read so many posts by people who are not listening to their doctor, or tweaking the diet to suit their needs.  Some people have actually written "I'm not staying on liquids for another day, I'm moving on to the next stage", or "I can eat anything I want with no problem...why isn't the band working?".  Are you kidding me?  Why would you even be trying to eat whatever you want?!  Maybe I'm just a rule follower but I figure there are guidelines and rules that go along with this surgery for a reason.  I have committed to this process and I am aware that it is a PROCESS.  I have a huge fear of failure, and another huge fear of having a complication that would require more surgery.  I will do everything in my power to not let that happen.  The decision to go ahead with this surgery was not taken lightly.  So, I'm not saying I'm perfect, or better than those who are doing things differently than I am.  I'm just saying I will continue to do everything by the book and hope for the best.  If my weight loss stalls, which I'm sure it will when I start adding solids in a couple weeks, then so be it.  That's also part of the process.  I'm OK with that.  I'm not OK with cheating the program and then blindly ask "why isn't it working?".
I've been noticing that I'm not really bothered when I have to cook for my family.  Sure, I would have loved just a taste of the pizza I made for the girls last night, but I was OK without it.  I'd definitely like a little more variety at this point, but I'll get that on Wednesday.  The dietitian told me to mark my calendar so I would remember to progress to the next phase of diet.  HA!  No need to mark that down, I'm so ready for something new I'm counting the minutes!  I'm not exactly looking forward to pureed meats, but I'd love a mashed potato.
I've rediscovered my love of oatmeal.  In fact I've been adding half a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast to it to boost the protein, and it makes chocolate oatmeal.  It's to die for!  I'd suggest you try it even if you're not on a special diet.  Yumm.

Now, to share something not so yummy with you.  Remember I told you about the bruise from my IV?  Keep in mind that surgery was 11 days ago.  Here's what it looks like today.  Imagine what it looked like last week!

I'm pretty sure it resembles a map of something, but I'm not sure what.  It's just darn gross and I really wish it would go away.
On that unpleasant note, I  bid you all good night.  I have to go puree some oatmeal!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Check UP

I had my one week post-op check with the surgeon and dietitian today.  Everything went well, and here's what I learned...

~I have to be on the full liquid diet for one more week (yuck)
~I can start moving as much as possible, without hurting myself.  Walking, yoga, stairs are all good things.
~The back pain I'm having is likely still from the gas they use to inflate the stomach during surgery.  It should go away in a week or so.
~At the sight of the bruise on my arm, the doc said "Oh My God!  is that from your IV?".  He said it's not exactly 'normal', but he has seen it before.  It'll go away.
~My weight loss thus far is impressive.
~Since my band is still empty, any weight loss over the next 5 weeks is considered a "bonus".  I'm not expected to lose anything until I actually have a fill. (we'll see about that!)
~When I told the doc I'm not hungry, his response was "enjoy it while it lasts".  Hmmm.
~I have to stop weighing myself every day because the weight loss is going to slow down.  They don't want me to get discouraged.

So, pretty much everything is progressing along nicely.  I go back in 5 weeks, at which time I can have a fill if I feel I need one.  Apparently it's up to me.

I'm happy with the results so far and I'm feeling better every day.

Thanks everyone for your support!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Week Later!

I've survived my first week of post-op!  It hasn't been that bad really, just a lot of reminding myself to take it easy and heal.  Yesterday was my first day on my own as hubby had to go back to work.  Because I must be mildly insane, I decided to take the girls to Wal Mart.  I hadn't driven in a week and needed to get out of the house.  It started out OK but after a little shopping I was starting to get sore.  I couldn't take the pain meds in the morning because then I wouldn't be able to drive.  Believe me, as soon as we got home I took one!  The rest of the day was pretty rough so that tells me the shopping trip was too much.  Lesson learned.

I've been doing better at getting close to the goal of consuming 60 grams of protein a day.  It's no so easy but I am keeping track so I can see how far off I am each day.
I have continued to lose weight (not posting until Saturday!).  I've been walking a little and can't wait to REALLY be able to exercise again.  I've been having some pretty bad back pain.  They told me in the hospital that I would likely have gas pain in my back and shoulder for a while.  Somehow this doesn't really feel like that.  It feels more like my body wants to stretch and move, and hasn't been able to.  I'd love to be able to do some yoga, or just basic floor stretches.  That's not in the cards just yet.

Here's a picture of what the band looks like.  I thought I'd share it with you so you can have a better understanding of what's going on 'behind the scenes'.  Freaky, isn't it?  You can see how huge the human stomach is in it's original form, and how little of it is used after the band is put on.  That's why I get so full after just a few spoonfuls of yogurt or oatmeal!  It's a modern marvel.

I go to the doc tomorrow for my follow-up.  I'm anxious to hear what he has to say, and I have a few questions for him about my 'port'.  I'll let you know what he says!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Milestones in the Making

It's only been 4 full days since surgery but today I feel like I've turned a corner.  I have only taken one pain pill today, and haven't needed any more.  I feel I have more energy and even got outside today.  It seems so simple, but just a quick trip to the grocery store with the family made me feel more human!  The smell of food cooking didn't make me nauseous today, and actually started to smell good.  I felt a bit hungry too, which is good because I've been having a lot of trouble getting in even half of my daily protein requirement.  I also took a multivitamin which I had been afraid to do until today.  Lots of baby steps, but steps in the right direction!

I guess my biggest accomplishment is that I'm down a total of 10 pounds.  That's 6 from my pre-op liquid diet, and 4 since surgery.  That means I now weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with baby #2!  It feels good to get the baby weight off since the 'baby' is 3 years old!  Now I'll be working on the weight from Baby #1.  All in due time.

I've decided to post my weight loss once a week, on Saturday.  I chose that day because that was my old Weight Watchers 'weigh in' day.  I'm more likely to remember to do it if I stick to the familiar.

Until next time, be well!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thank God it's Friday!

Yesterday was pretty rough.  I have this problem of thinking I'm Super Woman, and don't take all of my pain meds, then over do it, and of course pay for it.  I was so sick.  I couldn't even stand the sound of my kids voices!  Everything just seemed too loud.  I was in bed a lot, feeling guilty for not being present for them.  I also figured out I was probably dehydrated.  Since I can only sip water all day long, not guzzle it like I normally would, I've not been paying much attention.  Nurse Hubby got me back on track though and even woke up in the middle of the night to bring me some water.  Today is a much better day because of that, along with taking my meds when I'm supposed to!
At this point I'm pretty sure I'm under nourished.  According to my guidelines I'm supposed to be having 2 protein shakes a day, plus things like cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, etc.  I can barely get down 1 shake so far.  I tried the cottage cheese and started to get sick.  I made 1/4 cup of oatmeal today and only ate about half.  Part of my problem is that I'm absolutely terrified of throwing up!  I stop eating the instant I feel the least bit queasy.  Throwing up is one of the big reasons people have band slippage.  I don't want that to be me.  The other problem is that the pain medication makes me feel icky.  I think once I'm off the meds, I will be able to eat more.  Right now, I'm just not hungry.
I'm just so thankful to have my hubby home with me for these past couple of days.  He's been here to take care of me and the kids.  Yesterday he took them to piano and out for ice cream.  Today it's off to the library.  I don't know how I would get any rest if he wasn't here.
I just need to sit back and enjoy this help while I have it because he goes back to work on Monday.  If I don't feel better by then, I'm out of luck!
I look like I've been battered or tortured.  I have bruises all over, the worst of which is from the IV in my arm.  I've been wearing long sleeves so the kids can't see it because it's really THAT bad.  It's actually black right now.  How do I explain that to them?
So, for the next couple days, my goal is to heal.  That's all I need to do, just heal.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Done...I'm Banded

Yesterday went pretty smoothly.  The babysitter was here at 5:40am. and hubby and I were at the hospital at 6am.  They got me all settled in and then the doc came in to see me and meet my husband.  It was funny, he said "Good morning, are you ready?" and I said "I'm ready, are you!?".  I told him I hoped I had done a good job shrinking my liver for him, and wished him luck.  I met my anesthesia team and politely apologized for my huge tonsils.  They took a look and asked why I had never had them out!
I can vaguely remember the doc telling me that everything went well and I was all done.  I guess I started waking up an hour later and said I had pain.  They gave me lots of great drugs and I was feeling great.  I slept a lot.  The doc came in and said everything went great and that I did an awesome job shrinking the liver, he had easy access to my stomach.  Then I had to laugh because he said "All of your organs are just beautiful!  Everything in there looks great!".  I told him he was the very first person to ever tell me that!
Then he proceeds to tell me that I'll be able to see my port through my skin because he didn't really have any place to hide it.  Are you kidding me?!  I sure have enough belly fat but according to him, there wasn't a lot of tissue where he has to place it and I might not like the look of it.  I assured him that I would never be wearing a bikini, so it probably wouldn't be a problem!
I was way ahead of the pain curve while at the hospital and was walking around like nothing happened.  Unfortunately the pharmacy messed up and didn't fill my Rx so I was 2 hours late getting my meds and have been in pain ever since.  I'm trying to get ahead of it again but it's taking time.
I'll be trying to get lots of rest over the next couple days while I have the hubby here to help.

Here's a "day 1" picture.  I'm thinking of taking one a month to track my progress.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Big Day Has Arrived

Tomorrow is the big day.  I had a hard time sleeping last night and was having some anxiety.  I was better this morning once I talked it out with the hubby.  He is the calming effect in my life.

Thankfully Sheila has been here to keep me occupied and sane.  We spent the better part of the day at the outlet mall enjoying the gorgeous weather.  We walked a lot, which would please my surgeon.  He wants his patients to keep active prior to surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Today is my one day of clear liquids before surgery.  I can't eat anything all day except for jell-O and popsicles (not sugar free).  I can drink lots of broth though, and that helps.  It's funny how for 9 days I wasn't allowed to have any sugar at all, and now today I can have all the sugar I can handle.  I brought some juice with me to the mall but it was WAY too sweet for me, even after I diluted it with a lot of water.  I think I had finally detoxed myself from the sugar and my body doesn't like it any more.

You know how little kids don't even want something until you tell them they can't have it, then they really must have it?  That's how I feel right now.  I've been looking at fast food signs with lust in my eyes!  I haven't had fast food in years.  Even if I'm stuck having to get something to eat while out with the kids, it's usually a salad or soup.  I wouldn't dream of getting fried food.  But now that I can't have it at all, I want it.  Hopefully this too shall pass.

I'm down another pound which was a welcome surprise this morning.  I hope the liver shrinking diet has worked and the surgeon will be able to get in and out.  He's famous around here for getting Lap band patients out of the OR in 30 minutes or less.  I sure hope that's true tomorrow!
They tell me that since I'm outpatient, I don't need to bring much with me to the hospital.  I've decided to bring a few things for luck.  I'm bringing the lovely compass necklace that lovely daughter #1 made me (so I don't lose my way!), the charm bracelet that D.R. gave me on our wedding day, a book mark that lovely daughter #2 made, and my mother's rosary from The Vatican.  You think that's enough good luck for one surgery?

So, here I go.  I check into the hospital at 6am.  I have no idea what time I'll be home and what I'll feel like, but I'll try to at least post an update on how it went.  Wish me luck, or say a prayer if you're so inclined!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Plugging Right Along...

Remember I was down 4 pounds?  Then yesterday morning I was back up a half pound.  I was thinking "Were my grapes too fatty?  Was the 1% fat from my 99% fat free chicken broth too much for me?!"  Come on!  Of course, it was just water weight, but it made me mad all the same.  Michele says I should ditch my scale for a while.  I think I agree.  I wonder if I can discipline myself to only weigh in once a week and leave the scale alone on the other days. That will be tough.

Speaking of 'water' weight.  Oh my God, how could I possibly pee any more?!  Hubby used to say I had the smallest bladder in the world, and that was before I started the liquid diet.  Honestly, I pee ALL THE TIME!  Think about it, I'm drinking my food, and drinking my drinks.  I'm definitely flushing out the system, so to speak.

Yesterday I had to actually cook for the first time since starting this.  We were out of town for the weekend, and even when we got back on Sunday, it was sort of 'fend for yourself' with sandwiches and snacks for hubby and kids.  Monday and Tuesday hubs had to work late and got something on the way home.  Yesterday I had to cook because I signed up to prepare a meal for one of the women in our Mom's group who just had a baby.  That service is wonderful and we enjoyed all the meals that were delivered to us after we had our baby.  I cooked chicken, rice and green beans.  I made it at 10am. right after having a protein shake, so I wasn't hungry.  I'm proud to announce that I didn't even have a taste!  I put enough aside for dinner here so I wouldn't have to cook again, just warm it up.  I think I'm getting better at this not eating thing  because I wasn't really bothered by it.  I sat at the table with the family but had my shake and some canteloupe, and was just fine.

I'm counting down the days until surgery day.  It's approaching so fast.  I think I'm having some low level anxiety about it but I just keep trying to focus on the positive.  I have you guys to help me through this!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Only in My Dreams

I had a dream last night that I made pancakes for the girls, and ate 4 of them myself, before remembering that I'm supposed to be on a liquid diet!  I woke up relieved that it was only a dream.  I wonder if I'll be dreaming about food for the rest of my life.
The good news is that I'm down 4 pounds from all this madness.  I get mad when I hear people say things like "I gave up drinking pop and lost 25 pounds!".  I gave up pop, artificial sweeteners and most sugars back in January.  I didn't lose an ounce.  So, I've been on liquids for 4 days and I've lost 4 pounds.  I'm not complaining, because I'm grateful for any weight loss, but is this what it takes for me to lose weight?  I have to eat only fruits, drink my protein, and go to bed hungry?  Seems a little unfair to me, but I guess I have to accept that as my fate.  It just kind of pisses me off, that's all.

I am feeling better than I was, and I think I'm finally detoxed from carbs.  No headaches, and I don't feel as weak as before.  I've been keeping up with my weight lifting classes but have stopped "Power Cycling". It's a grueling 60 minute, fast paced class and I just don't think I have the energy to get through that!  At this point I think weight lifting is the key.  I really don't want to have sagging skin after all this hard work!

Surgery is one week from today.  And so the count down begins!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Here I am at day two of my 10 day liquid protein diet and I am insanely craving carbs.  I could live without bread but I'd probably pay $100 for a bowl of cereal right now.

I totally understand the purpose of the 10 day plan.  I know that it's best to shrink the liver so the surgeon can get to the stomach easier, and have more room for the instruments.  I watched the procedure on Youtube.  I get it.  However, I don't care, I want carbs!  I hear it gets better after day 3, and I sure hope so.  My husband will probably move to a hotel if it doesn't!

We just got back from a family wedding in Michigan this weekend.  I was so tired and weak on the car ride home, and very thankful that my husband was driving.  I had lots of cut up melon for the road trip.  Would you believe I actually got sick of fruit!?  I never thought that was possible.  We stopped at McDonald's for a potty break and even though I NEVER eat there, the food suddenly smelled delicious.  I think I would have eaten a burger if given the opportunity, and you know how I feel about meat!

The ray of light to this day is that my beautiful husband remembered that I can have sugar free popsicles.  I can't believe how excited the mention of a popsicle made me.  I couldn't wait to get home and we all had popsicles BEFORE dinner.  That doesn't happen in our house.  Then, my husband says "Well, I didn't have much lunch today so I'm going to eat an early dinner".  Ha, HE didn't eat much lunch?  How about I DRANK my lunch.  So he makes me laugh by saying "well, you paid for the all you can't eat buffet".  He's right.  I'm paying BIG $$$$$$ for this procedure, and I won't screw it up!

So, tomorrow I'm off to the store to stock up on more protein powder and fruit.  I CAN do this...I CAN do this...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Paving the Way

Hello Team!

As you know, I have only told a handful of people about my plan to undergo LapBand surgery.  You are my "team".  I've told you few because I know you'll be there to help me through this process with your love and support! 
I've decided to start blogging (anonymously) to keep the team up to date on the progress during this journey.  I love to write and can't imagine going through this without documenting it.  So, why not share that progress with you!

Today was the big meeting with the surgeon for final instructions regarding the 10 day liquid diet, and pre-surgery prep.  Every time I go to one of these meetings or info. sessions, I have doubts and can't believe I've gotten to this point.  I never thought in a million years I would be signing up for weight loss surgery!  I wonder every day why I couldn't make it work on my own.  I'm trying not to feel like a failure.  Speaking of failure, my biggest fear at this point is having all this done and still not losing weight.  Talk about a nightmare!

So, the 10 day plan.  They call it a liquid diet but really, it's not.  I'm allowed to have lots of fresh/raw fruits and veggies each day, along with my protein shakes.  I can also have sugar free popsicles and jell-O (not a big fan of jell-O).

We're going away this weekend, right at the time when I have to start this 10 day.  Here's some of what I'm packing for the trip.  Doesn't it look nice?  When I was washing, cutting, and packing, I thought to myself "Wow, why couldn't I just eat like this before?  These are all things I like".  I guess there are times when grapes aren't going to cut it and you just have to have a bowl of cereal!  I wonder how that will change after surgery.  Hmmm?

So the journey begins, with you by my side.  I'll try my best to keep the blog up to date and I welcome you to leave comments.  All you have to do is have either a Gmail or Yahoo email account to be able to comment.
We'll be in touch!