Wednesday, August 26, 2009
My stomach has hurt pretty bad four times this year beginning with one severe instance in January. Two of the instances were in April. And then there was last night, the worst instance of all. I was unable to get a picture of my stomach in January, had an ultrasound done in April without anything showing up on it, and had a CATSCAN done last night. The pain I have felt (in my lower right abdominal quadrant) has been markedly similar on each instance I've had it and has been accompanied by naseau, vomiting, and constipation. It has occurred around my TOM each time as well, and it has all been after WLS. I naturally assumed in Jauary that it was related to the banding. Now it looks like it's probably not (thankfully!!).
Last night, the pain started in the evening and just kept going and going. I began throwing up a few hours in to add more excitement to the goings on. And oh, as some of you are all too aware, throwing up with the band is no joy ride. Holy toledos, Nelly! I was having to stand up and bend down almost to my toes to upchuck anything--and hardly anything was coming out even doing that. The trash can was the best receptacle for this type of throwing up since the toilet was too high. At any rate, this is not a position I like to be in too much even when I'm not sick, so adding a hurt tummy to the mix made things almost unbearable. I had eaten (TMI alert!) Mexican last night, so I had some killer breath and was quite rank otherwise after all of that. The only thing that was partially soothing was lying in the tub with my legs on the wall. I did this in intervals without any consistentcy in relief, the positions I would sit, or the undertaking itself.
My wonderful fiance talked me into going and took me to the hospital (and was so sweet in every imaginable way--although I didn't show him too much love when, before we left, he kept trying to take my temp and sweetly rub my arms and such--I wanted to be left ALONE and kept grunting at the poor guy). I was barely able to put on a brazierre and smelled as rank as they come before we left. I was thinking all night before his insistence in going finally won out that it might just be a virus or bad cramping post banding (before being banded, the first time I ever had my period (13 or thereabouts), I also threw up--first and only time that this had happened until this year). I also didn't want to have any fluid taken out of my band, which has just started showing me real restriction; I thought fluid removal would be inevitable.
At the hosptial, I threw up several times in a bucket the staff gave me in the lobby (in front of all the folks in the waiting room--lovely!), and went through a series of checks and interrogations from what seemed like every person that works in the multi-building campus! They wouldn't allow my fiance to answer for me--protocol, I guess? The nurse put the IV in my arm and took blood. Because I was on my period last night, I had my first catheter experience as well. All these wonderful firsts!!! The nurse told me that I just needed to relax. Like heck! Getting a catheter was so not the type of feeling I get when I'm, say, sitting on the porch sipping tea and watching the sunset! Argh! Finally, after all of the waiting and what seemed like forever, I get some drugs--oh sweet mother's milk (sounds like something Amy W. has or would say :) ). They were amazing! The naseau and pain both subsided. That was great to me because I thought I would have to wait a few more hours for a gastrointestinal doctor to be called to take out some fill (again, that was one of the big reasons I waited as long as I could stand it not to go--because I want to lose weight for the wedding, not go back and forth in weight loss limbo with fill removals and additions).
Then, on to the CAT. A gastric-bypass patient did my CAT. She looked great and has lost tons of weight since her surgery in February (I felt good enough to notice others at that point). She was so sweet and shared all her details with me. It's nice to be able to talk to someone in the flesh (not that I don't love my online buddies too) about WLS since so few know. I have to tell medical personnel because any privacy misgivings are completely trumped by my desire for optimal medical care.
When we got the CAT results, they showed that I had a kidney stone. I believe that we just didn't catch the other suckers in a picture earlier this year as they had moved out already (or were camera shy). The doctor said that people who have one typically report others later and that they tend to see the same people back for them again and again. Super! At least next time I'll leave for the hospital ASAP since they aren't taking any fill out and since I know I need drugs and will have to go through interrogation checkpoints. I just hope I can avoid the catheter if I have to do it again--just remembering it is terrible. Well, after I got my scrips, the fiance rolled me out in the wheelchair (he was getting better at that from the beginning of the night when he was moving that thing like an Olympic running champ--that doesn't feel good when you are in the chair) to insurance and then to the vehicle. He was able to get my scrips for me at the pharmacy.
I've been on drugs and have a filter to catch the stone in if I can. I had to miss work today...probably tomorrow too. I don't know about after that but do know I have tons of drugs to take. I'm almost too exhausted to keep looking at the computer screen, so I have to end this here. I hope I feel better next time I post and that all this is history then.
One final thing, my fiance is heaven sent. I truly believe that. He is amazing! He had to miss work too today because of everything last night/this AM. He has been helping take care of me since too. I am so blessed he is in my life. :)
Monday, August 24, 2009
As a side note, the new lowest number on the scale is 176.4. That is 27 pounds down (though I'm averaging about 178-179 on the scale).
And, as far as the pictures, I will send them soon. Sorry about that, you guys. I have been super busy.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Anyhow, reading Mary's post was really weird because just last night I was thinking about all of us meeting up since we are all in the same general area. I feel like all of these great people are stuck in the computer, and I need to pull them out! I wish everyone could get together. :( But everyone is invited to whatever we decide if you can make it. And I won't even wear my black box over my face, Amy! :)
BTW, all you legit bandsters (or future bandsters) out there, if you would like to see pics of me, give me your email addresses. My being an incognita senorita is more for those people that are non-bandsters in my life--judgmental/blabbery friends and family, random clients, that sort of thing. It has just been my choice to keep this very personal and private, and I'm very happy with that choice at the moment. I don't have a lot of good 'befores' and 'durings' though but can send what I have.
Oh, one more IMPORTANT thing...I don't think I've yet told anyone, "Thanks for reading my blog." I LOVE reading everyone else's blogs. It is one of the highlights of my day. I'm glad you all are sharing your adventures, bandster tricks, and advice with me. I'm so appreciative that you are also letting a piece of my life into yours. I am past the point of comparing my weight with others--I'm the SLOWEST LOSER. Heehee. That's okay (right now :) ). But losing slowly truly doesn't make me any less excited for everyone's victories and frustrated at everyone's frustrations. I really want us all to succeed at this (and in those other life events and struggles that we mention here too). At any rate, I am so glad I started following everyone's blogs and then mustered up the courage to create my own. You all are amazing, and Cara's slogan that her friends are in her computer really sums up this experience for me. THANK YOU!!!!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
My mini goals are 1) to be able to EASILY fit into all my old Size 15's (I think/hope I have about 10 pounds--maybe less?--to get there); 2) to be considered 'normal' (159 pounds for me) sometime soon; 3) to EASILY fit into all my VERY old Size 13's (the last time I did this was after some weight loss in 2002/2003--don't know how much I weighed though???); and 4) to get to my surgeon's goal of 145. By the way, I added a caloric expenditure and intake link on my page. It helps you scientifically determine how much you need to eat/exercise to lose weight using your BMR (different than your BMI). You can even plug in goal weight numbers to see what you will need to be doing to maintain at that point.
Also, I weighed myself after my walk (didn't jog) last night (saw another bunny--what is up with that?) and this AM (when I'm the lowest), and the scale is now showing 177.8. I know that is only .2 pounds down from 178, but still, I love seeing the 177. :)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
It seems like my new-found restriction may be working--and I have another fill coming up soon; there is a possibility that it will get me where I need to be. Either way, at least I'm losing lately (and my TOM doesn't even begin until next week--it is usually only after then that I lose at all; I hope I don't NOT lose then though???).
Oh, and in keeping with our new traditions, this fish (yes, another fish--sorry, Catherine) is 25 pounds (the girl is not me :) ).
Monday, August 17, 2009
But this morning, just a couple hours before my lunch break (which is now :) ), I had a client who asked about me 'losing a lot of weight' recently. On top of not many people noticing (only about five at most), no one has said ANYTHING that would indicate that it looks like I lost more than a little weight. Neat-o!
But like I said, I really haven't gotten out there much to see people. I guess I'm waiting until I can make a really good impression with more weight loss. I do have my significant other's work party in December but may even linger longer at Wal-Mart and other places just to run into people if I can lose enough. :)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I'm now wondering if maybe the higher weight at the end of this past weekend was the roadmark precursor to more weight loss. I know others of you have mentioned this happening, and it has happened to me too in past weight losses--where we gain before we lose.
One good thing about this loss (other than the obvious--weight loss! :) ) is that I didn't have to wait until after my TOM (as usual) to shed a couple pounds. I probably need to get more scientific about this weigh-in stuff since I'm actually losing (this honestly didn't happen until I started exercising in April-ish--and my surgery was in December!) and have a weekly weigh-in day (though I haven't decided to do that for sure yet).
I can't wait until I get to my sweet spot. My next fill appointment is early September, a little earlier than normal--fills are usually at exactly two months after the last fill (not my choice!)--because my doc is going out of town. He has the discretion NOT to fill too (the nurse told me that when I lost 10 lbs. in two months a couple of months ago; compared to some people, that doesn't seem like a lot, but he didn't fill me then :( ). But, hopefully, I will continue to see results with more of a fill then!!!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Though I'm planning to go for the usual jog/walk tonight, I have had a lot of variations in the workout regimen this week. When I was out of town this weekend, I did the Wii short run (2 times), long run (2 times), and Island long run (once). Then I did the beginning and advanced step game (2 times each). I got the top scores for all of them and, though I entered my height and stepped on the game scale for my weight and such, I had to have Michael Jackson as my icon picture and name because he was all that was available (and I don't know how to create my own)! :) So Michael Jackson was the winner, I guess. (Side note: I really want a Wii myself for the Wii Fit (I loved using it!), but it is out of the budget at the moment. :( ) Sunday night when I got home (since I had gained and hadn't done anything besides the Wii over the weekend), I did a dance Crunch video. Ever heard of the Crunch series? I have several videos/DVD's (had them for a while). They have dance, Pilates, yoga, bootcamp, abs, cardio, and all sorts of other workouts. I find them fairly challenging. At any rate, while I felt fine Sunday night, the next morning until yesterday (all day), I was holding onto walls, railings, whatever to get down stairs, etc. In the bathroom, I NEEDED railings. I was seriously sore. It didn't even feel like I was doing that much when I was working out, but I guess I was working different muscles than normal. Oh, and I neglected to mention that I did all of that (all the Wii workouts and the video) on Sunday, so maybe the vigor of that day was catching up with me. Whatever the case, YOWSERS, I hurt!!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
She is very, very thin. She doesn’t have an eating disorder or any other problem; she’s just thin, my height (5'7) and thin. In today’s world, people love and envy that. Heck, I got a band to head in a thinner direction. I will NEVER get to where she is (113 pounds at 5'7–underweight at 17.7 BMI; I just did a BMI calculation) even with my band friend, but it is difficult to have this continuous, unattainable reminder of not having to worry about weight (or looks at all–she is quite beautiful too). What I would give!
People are also always thrusting food at her and commenting on how she needs to eat more too. She does eat; I see it! And often! On a recent trip with my SS and mom (and some other non-family members), people were doing that in abundance. I was the one who was, in fact, eating less and skipping meals/snacks/food in general (partly because of the band). I felt like no one was really paying attention to anything except the fact that the SS is little. For instance, no one seemed to notice or even mention my eating patterns, and I was eating about half to two-thirds of what she was. Maybe they were just thinking that I would survive because I draw on the fat stores already available (if they even paid attention at all). Who knows?!
Last night, in yet another example in the ongoing Saga of the Skinny Sister, I was with a big group of people who again started the oooing and aaaahhing over her small size. They were even saying that my other sister and I looked more like one parent and that the SS looked more like the other. All my life I have been told (and know) that I look like that one parent while my older and younger sisters have distinctly similar facial characteristics that match the other parent’s. It makes me feel like people don’t really look at overweight people–the just kind of lump us together as the same. They lump together the lumps. Frustrating! I didn’t say anything about my aggravation with that openly, don't worry.
For attention, the SS does seem to eat it up and egg it on. In the case of accepting--or not accepting--food, she does whichever one derives the most noticeable glances or continued observation for her at the time. She thrives on attention in a lot of ways, so that’s not really out of the ordinary. Just as a related aside and for example purposes, I tell her that she is the Master One-Upper because if someone mentions an accomplishment or hardship, she always does it better, more often, or with more of a burden. She has almost embraced this title now because she is aware that she does it and continues to one-up (or one-down as the case may be). Of course, she makes sure to tell us all her superior accomplishment or hardship--therein showing her attention-seeking personality. But, on the positive side of the attention factor, she is also an entertainer type by nature. She is talented in all forms of art and makes us all laugh at impersonations and dance moves, etc. She often makes family get togethers and that sort of thing more enjoyable because we have a built-in entertainer.
Anyways, when I'm not around her as much, the 'skinny' comments and food thrusting don't affect me at all really unless someone is talking about her being skinny, etc. to me. Most of my friends are not this tiny (although there are some skinny ones in the mix), so it's not in my face every day. And sometimes when I am with her, it doesn't bother me either. But I can't (and don't want to) not see my sister as much because of these aggravations.
So am I being jealous and mean to be annoyed about these things in the first place? I can’t shake the feeling that I am. I definitely don’t want to just be vicious and pick these things apart because I love my sisters–the family tattletale and the skinny one :). I wouldn’t trade their fluffy and boney butts (respectively) for any others. :).
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I have read about supplements and other things (like eating more protein) that helps. Does anyone have any experience with hair loss?
From what I remember, my family was always possessive when it came to food during that time too. I remember my dad putting a colorful note on an item he was reserving for himself in the frig. Evidently one of my grandparents had even put a chain and lock on their refrigerator when my dad was young (although the grandparents were all always generous to us). I hope that I am not like that with my children, but it does scare me a little.
At any rate, I guess that is the background from whence my eating addiction emerged. I have a sister who is just a couple years older than me who went through this as well. She also has weight issues now. I would like to tell her about the band--would really like to tell her--but she has already said negative things about WLS and cannot keep a secret to save her life (with a family that has also pegged WLS as 'bad').
In addition to my older sister, I have a sister who is ten years younger than me who is thin as a rail (literal Size 0) who never went through these times at all (in fact, though we all have the same parents, my dad has pretty much been out of the picture her whole life, and my stepdad has helped my mom raise her). To me, that just kind of goes to show that there is something to the root of mine and my older sister's eating issues and with our squirrel or hoarding mentalities (disclaimer: I am no psychologist; this has just been me thinking these things through over the course of the last few years :) ).
Monday, August 10, 2009
There was all kinds of food, and worse still, there were all sorts of dips. There were two different kinds of cheese dips, a Mexican bean dip (also with cheese), a spinach dip, a chicken dip, and other dips that I can't remember but loved. I am getting hungry again just typing that! I am a sucker for many kinds of dips. And, as we well know, they aren't great food for losing weight (or at least the typical dips we see at parties usually aren't). I could eat a ton of them because they slid right on through Srta Bandita at her current restriction level. I couldn't control myself because when it comes to food and self control, I myself am a dip (hence the band). Well, there was plenty of each type of dip left after the party (and the leftover dips came with the group who was hosting me), so I ate (LOTS of) them for several snacks and for breakfast and lunch the next day. YIKES!!!
In the evenings, we went to an Italian restaurant (Saturday night) and had food off the grill (last night). Because those were the last meals of the day when my band loosens somewhat, those things came right on through my lapband friend too.
And then there was cake and dessert! We know that the band doesn't help with that. (Too, I had a lot of ice cream last week because some family members are in town visiting, and that is their dessert of choice--they leave midweek, so that temptation will be gone then). Why can't I make myself refuse these things?
Well, after all of my falling off the BAND-wagon, I got on the scale when I got back last night and gained 1.8 lbs. (so weighed in at 184.8 lbs.). This AM I weighed in at 183 even (but it is the morning, so it might be less than what my average is). Argh! I guess it's only fair though since I was a eating with a vengeance all weekend.The scary thing is that I can't even imagine what would happen if I still ate like that all the time and with all sorts of food (bread, meat, pasta, etc.) like I did pre-band! I would start earlier and end later then too. So at least that isn't the case. And maybe these couple of naughty pounds will help me learn something and move on to weight loss.
Friday, August 7, 2009
I did it a LOT right before and after surgery...that was about the only thing I had to do at the airports since I flew out alone to MX. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person (???), but I am just thinking that a lot of people are depressed...or at least unhealthy...at the larger weights. I want everyone to be healthy and happy. I'm a little cheesy, yes.
But then sometimes I also wonder if those random strangers have already looked into it or are even newly banded themselves???
Any experiences with these thoughts?
Oh, and don't forget to look at the chart below and let me know how it fits you!
Actually, I posted this (following) on Cara's blog today about my current size: "I am fitting in a couple 16's and the whole range of 17's that I have. I was barely able to button the loosest 17's they have just a few months ago. The cool thing is that I have lots more clothing options because I've hoarded everything."
I am a size XL in shirts but can wear some L's okay (the looser ones). I also put on a shirt this AM that I LOVE (it's a SMALL--probably neuter-gendered though) and can't wait to really fit into when I lose a little more. It isn't anything fancy--just a black Hard Rock Cafe tee that I got out of the country and rocked (pun intended) in 2003. I was surprised I could get it on at all without it looking absolutely hideous (it still doesn't fit super great to me, but as I mentioned, I wear my clothes more loosely).
What I found interesting is that, based on the chart, some groups are not in certain sizes for very long--like 5'9's in larges and 5'5's in mediums only run for a fairly short spread of weight.
How does it fit everyone else? I am very interested to know so that I can determine whether it is at least somewhat accurate in its predictive reliability and validity.
There are a couple of bad things about the chart--it only goes up to 280 lbs for one. And it doesn't show the size conversion at every number (only at increments). :( But if it is a rough estimate that can predict, I think that's neat. What I also like about it is that it measures in kg (for Cara and Miss Dee :) ) and lbs (for the rest of us).
Please let me know if you see any others that are similar. And let me know if it fits for you.
Oh, btw, my lowest weight as of last night is 180.2. Just .3 more pounds until I'm in the 170's (well, at least my lowest weight will be in the 170's--I've still been measuring on both sides of 183). I'll be away from the scale for a couple days this weekend (going on a short trip, so that will be interesting--I'm COMPULSIVE about the scale!!!).
I can't wait to hear from everyone!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I would always lose a little weight. In fact, around 2002-2003, I lost a pretty good bit of weight because I was changing men at the rate I changed my oil (probably a lot more actually since I wasn't into vehicle maintenance at all). But since this weight would always pile back on three fold and since I am now with my future hubby (he probably wouldn't approve of my going after random men), I really can't rely on that sort of inconsistent weight loss.
HOWEVER, one thing I've noticed in the past couple of weeks is that this level of restriction (at least for the time being) is making me physically feel like I did when I was freshly dating in that I'm not thinking of food nearly as much. In fact, I have wondered a few times over what is causing me to feel like that because there is no new guy in the picture; I promise, Honey! :) (Actually, he doesn't read my blog because I post my weight in it. I'm not comfortable with that yet). There was the 5K I could be a little anxious over temporarily (I signed up for it just a few days before the event), but I felt the same way after it ended. I have some job stress, but it's been going on for a while--and I didn't feel anxious with physical effects until after this fill. It's not a sleep-depriving anxiety or anything bad, but it is a somewhat fluttery feeling that keeps me from going nuts when I'm eating and keeps me from thinking about food all the time (with some exceptions--like the OG indulgence this AM).
So do butterflies in my stomach translate into restriction? Do I have banderflies? :) If so, I am happy about the lack of appetite this time around because I am hopeful that this weight will come off and stay off! And I have a great guy to boot! Well, not to boot but to keep. :)
This AM, I REALLY wanted some leftovers from Olive Garden from the night before last. I know OG is not authentic Italian and it's not my favorite Italian restaurant, but I LOVE Italian. It's one of my fav types of food. The OG dish I had was a special, and it was good too. (Just fyi: I have actually been NOT eating breakfast most mornings as Catherine's doctor suggested (she has an interesting post about that on her site that I would recommend everyone read!), but this AM, OG was calling my name! Evil, evil leftovers.
Well, with my new restriction, I cannot eat whatever I wish in the morning evidently. I am SO glad I had a plastic bag in my car because out the OG special came (and I hardly had any) as I was facing cars in a busy intersection (my luck!). :( I guess I'll have to stick with grits or cereal from here on out if I decide to eat in the AM.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Here's the post: As far as fills go, it seems like the doctors all vary. My surgeon who installed this puppy would have filled me up all the way in about six weeks (after surgery). He and his staff told me so and said that there was no reason to 'inch me up' to an appropriate level of fill. I have read from others' posts that many other doctors in many other parts of the country have this approach or are at least willing to give quick fills up front to get to the sweet spot ASAP.
However, my fill doctor (I don't live near my surgeon though my fill doctor is, of course, a bariatric surgeon) only rations out small portions at a time because he says that it is better to prevent slippage and problems with the band later. I don't want problems and don't want to have to go through another surgery (yikes!), so for me it's best to be more cautious just in case my fill doctor is on to something. And what choice do I have really?
The bad part is that it is taking sooooo long to lose (and yes, I've been able to and have eaten a lot more than I thought I would/could after being banded until JUST recently) and that it is probably costing me more--$150 a fill for more fills. Is there a hidden agenda for some surgeons to make easy money off of fills? I've wondered that, but, again, I have to trust that he has sound medical reasons to treat me the way he is. I also don't want to be overfilled. I've read about how painful that is. And I can't imagine not being able to drink!!!! That would be terrifying!
But whatever course you take, I think a lot of it depends on what your surgeon WILL do--probably moreso than what you want. Although I could be wrong, if they will fill you immediately or not is probably their call. You could shop for a doctor though. You may find another surgeon like Amson who is willing to take the same path he does.
As far as eating solids right after being banded, I would probably worry about throwing up too soon like Amy mentioned. I've also heard people talking about stretching pouches. Someone else might know more about that.
Either way, it sounds like this Amson guy has had good results. He probably knows what he's doing. I'm no medical doctor; that's for sure. I just thought I'd share my experiences so you'd have some more 'food for thought'--good one, Amy! :)
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I was just reading Cara's blog about how you feel lighter pre-scale stepping on the mornings when you weigh less and are pretty much right on most of the time. That was the case for me yesterday morning: I just knew I lost. And I did!
So far in my banded journey, I have had weight loss right after my TOM only (but the extra weight does stay gone). So it may become stagnate for another long while unfortunately. I wish I could squeak out a couple more pounds before stablilizing again...or, better yet, let's shake things up this month and use that little bit of restriction I now have (I can FEEL something now; it is GREAT to not be hungry all the time) to lose some every week!!! That would be wonderful!!!
Bear with me because this is related: last week, one of my cousins said that my aunt looked like she had gained 50 pounds since early July. I don't relish in talking about weight gain; it always makes me frustrated for the person because I'm intimately acquainted with the goings on there. But, to get the thoughts in my mind across, I was thinking that this type of weight gain is VERY HARD TO ACCOMPLISH in less than a month's time.
Because chances of that type of weight gain were slim to none and because the courier was getting all sorts of recent notice for her weight loss, it made me think that it is interesting what just a few pounds (either way) will do for us. Those five pounds may take away most of that double chin or may add that extra roll. I'm sure that those five measley pounds that make such a difference fall at a different place on the spectrum for different people. Mine may be at the 175-pound mark, and I may look the same outwardly from 175 until I get down to, say, 160 before another big change comes about. The courier may look noticeably different at the 210, 195, 182, and 154 weights. Whatever the weights (or weight ranges) are, it is interesting when weight loss manifests itself into something that is outwardly noticeable. It would be nice to know specific numbers for mini-goals! Am I being too abstract here? Or is this something you all have already muddled over?
I guess there's only one thing left to do: I am going to enter another one of these things and train harder.