Sunday, September 26, 2010

The First Adjustment

I was a little nervous when it was time for my first adjustment, ok I was a lot nervous!  I really didn't know what to expect with the appointment.  Like any other doctors appointment I went and signed in and sat down to wait.  Finally my name was called and the adventure of adjustments and seeing the doctor began.

I went into this small little room and the dreaded scale loomed in front of me.  I was told by the nurse to step up.  I got on the scale with a little apprehension and low and behold I was down about 10 lbs!  This was actually quite exciting to me.  I didn't think I would lose that much in 6 weeks.  The rest of the little room was a little bit of a blur but blood pressure and the like was taken and at that time it was discovered that my blood pressure was through the roof!  I was like great something else to deal with.  Oh well I would have to deal with it later.  So I finished with the little room and it was off to one of the exam rooms to again wait.

After about 20 minutes my wonderful surgeon walks in and greets me and says to how great I have done by losing 10 lbs.  I at that point was happy but not ecstatic as I was kind of like big deal it's only 10 lbs.  So the appointment continued by him asking how I was doing and what I was eating and how much.  I answered his questions as honestly as I could and he told me what this adjustment would entail.  For those of you who don't know me very well I HATE needles.  Don't like them one bit.  First he took a small syringe with some numbing medication and numbed up the area and then he took a bigger needle and found the port that had been placed during surgery.  Once the needle was in the syringe was attached and fluid was placed in the band.

The only way I can describe the feeling of the first adjustment was nauseating.  He says to me that this can sometimes happen but I wasn't too sure.  The appointment came to a close with him making sure that everything was ok and having me drink some water to make sure the adjustment was good.  Then he bid me farewell and told me he would see me in six weeks.

Friday, September 24, 2010


So I left off with getting ready to go into surgery for my lap band and for those of you out there who don't know what a lap band is it's in laymens terms like a tire with an inner tube.  The hard plastic "tire" goes around the upper portion of the stomach and the "inner tube" can later be adjusted via a port placed under the skin to further restrict the food intake.  I was like most people I think just plain nervous about having surgery as this was my first major surgery even though it was still laproscopic.  I didn't think much about actually having the band put in.  I went through the whole process saw the surgeon and anesthesiologist.  I think my biggest fear was actually having the tube put down my throat.  I have always had nightmares about not being able to get it out because I can't breathe on my own.  I guess I'm just weird!

I went in for surgery at about 130 in the afternoon.  The next thing I remember is being told it was all over and the recovery nurse telling me that they don't use that kind of language in the recovery room.  All I can say is I cannot be held accountable for things that I say under the influence of drugs!  I really didn't think much about the whole post operative process.  I wanted to go home but unfortunately I was there for the night.  I had some wonderful nurses and techs take care of me during my 26 hrs in the hospital.  Pain was good and I didn't have to take much pain medication which was a good thing as I had never been big on taking that stuff.

I guess the first thing would be to say that when you first eat after having the weight loss surgery all it is is liquids, clear liquids to be precise.  I got tired of jello and broth pretty quick and wanted more to eat but that was not a possibility.  It didn't really hit me that this was all for real and that I was being forced  into a new lifestyle with eating.  For those of you who do read this the real truth is that weight loss surgery is just a tool that helps with losing weight it doesn't do the losing for you.

The first couple of weeks were pretty easy.  I was off of work so I could focus on healing and getting better so that was a bonus.  The first week about is usually dedicated to both clear liquids (ie jello, broth, juice) and to full liquids (ie. plain yogurt, milk cream of wheat).  I think the hardest part about that whole first few weeks was having to measuring everything out and I mean everything except water.  The most that I could eat was just a few ounces at a time and I had to eat every few hours which was another difficult thing for me to get used too.  I am not a big three meals a day eater, I'm lucky if I get one or two but that is the business of my life.  I never felt that I had "buyers remorse" but it was a little tricky getting used to the whole idea of having to change my lifestyle. 

So I went along for the first 6 weeks with eating from liquids to pureed (and yes I really kind of skipped this part) to soft and finally to normal food.  Then the first appointment for adjustement loomed......

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A little history

I guess I could say I got the inspiration for blogging from what I would call a close friend.  I decided to "come out of the closet" so to speak.  For the past year and a half I have been dealing with the ups and downs of dealing with a lap band. For the most part what that means is I have a band around the upper portion of my stomach to help me lose weight.  I don't usually speak about it or at least the ups and downs of having to deal with it.  So my decision to start blogging is coming from the need to maybe try and share what I have gone through the last 16 months. My plan is to be brutally honest including what my weight was and is currently along with what I have felt.  This may take some time for me to get used to but I think this is the way to go.

So to begin my story I start at the beginning.  I haven't always had a problem with my weight but it started basically just before my senior year of high school.  I just started my first job at McDonalds, I guess you can figure out what that means.  The worst part of working there was all the access to food.  I didn't have any problem eating so I did.  That was when my weight started going up and it just continued to rise all throughout my senior year and continued as well through college.  I didn't just gain the freshman 15 I gained like 50.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2003 and I was weighing in probably at around 260 or so.  I was looking forward to getting married and was so excited to be marrying my soulmate! Little did I know that 6 weeks before the wedding he would call the whole thing off because without going into great detail he got "cold feet".  In the weeks and months following the break up I made a lot of bad choices in my life.  Thankfully through the support of family, church, and friends I was able to get through that trying time.  I also turned a lot to food and probably gained another 10-20 lbs.  Fortunately for me I was able to work out the things that had held us back the first time and finally on October 29, 2004 I did marry my soulmate.

When we first got married children weren't very far from our minds.  We did know that we wanted to wait at least a year or two before having any though.  During that time my weight slowly kept creeping up and I crossed over into that 300 lb zone.  When we finally decided that we were ready to start a family well you know what happens then.  At first neither one of us thought much of anything when nothing happened but we both knew at that time we were having issues with Steve breaking his arm and requiring surgery and then again when he had to have his gallbladder out and so on.  We finally realized that we needed some help and we were both tested and cleared of any problems.  I think at this point was when I started thinking that my weight which at that time was probably 310 lbs was causing the main problem and I needed to do something about it.

I tried dieting but would only lose a few pounds only to gain it back plus a few more.  I was discouraged when that would happen on top of being discouraged about not be able to get pregnant.  I had talked with my Dr. and she had decided to start a few cycles of Clomid.  For those of you who don't know that drug it just makes you ovulate more than one egg.  Went through several cycles of clomid and nothing and again I was extremely discouraged and again my weight went up.  After those cycles both Steve and I being as frustrated as we were decided together that we were going to stop everything and just "give up" for awhile.  I think it was then that I really started to pursue the possibility of weight loss surgery.

I did all the internet research I could I went to a seminar and learned as much as I could and which option I would choose.  I also got a lot of teaching from where I worked and I think that ultimately made up my mind of choosing to do the surgery.  To touch briefly on the process of getting insurance approval depending on your insurance will depend on what you have to do.  I had to go through several dr appointment including a pysch eval and seeing a cardiologist and going through a stress test.  I also had to do a monitored diet.  At first I thought yeah right there's no way I can do that but I decided to give weight watchers a try.  I did the whole thing and counted "points" and watched what I ate and tried to excerise but at over 300 lbs it's kind of hard to exercise.

So I had made my decision to have the lap band not only for my own health but if anything to be able to get pregnant. What ended up pushing the whole thing a lot faster than maybe I was ready for was me needing to have my own gallbladder taken out.  So on May 1, 2009 weighing in at my heaviest at 329 lbs I went in to have my gallbladder out and the lap band put in.......