Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Support a Newbie

We have a newbie who is getting banded tomorrow and who could use some support! Please stop in to NewMe's blog .
Just passing this forward from Band Groupie who is w(h)ining away right now and could also use some cheering up. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

How I Earn my Crust

Sally from Ramblings from the Other Side... asked what we do for a living so I thought I would post this. Over the past 35 years, I have worked as a Registered Nurse, taught Nursing, been a stay-at-home mom, Avon lady, president of the PTA, nutrition counsellor and finally in 2000, I went back to school to train as a computer technician. A year later, I graduated with all these cool Microsoft and Novell certifications and nifty geek pins to wear. Then the high tech meltdown began and no one was hiring. That Christmas, I went to a cocktail party and met a woman whose boss was looking for some new IT people and three weeks later in January 2001, I started working for the Federal Government of Canada in IT. I began with a bunch of guys doing computer support, setting up computers, installing Windows, crawling under desks to hook up the power and cables. I then moved into Application support and got to sit at a computer all day answering questions on why an application didn’t work or helping people fix their passwords. I know all those techie jokes and they are true.

Now nine years later, my title is Systems Analyst but I just got another title—Senior Documentation Specialist. Basically, I write down all the processes, help guides and step by step instructions for my group. I also help design and build software and do database stuff. Right now the group I work for is in a disorganized state with rotating acting managers. I just told my boss today that I would not take on someone else’s work just because they are lazy and don't want to do it. I'm the one they usually go to because I get the job done. No more—I’d rather spend my time on-line reading blogs :-)

Well that’s me and my job. This is my secure job with fabulous pay, benefits and a pension so I’ll stick it out for many more years. I don’t get any cute puppies or kittens to work with but then no ones dies at my job anymore. For all of you going back to school or thinking about it, it’s never too late to retrain or change careers. What I think I would like to do next is either work in a coffee shop or bookstore. Maybe when I retire. So what do you do to earn your crust?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stop the Presses—I’m NOT Perfect!

I have been in a bit of a funk the last few days and was trying to get my head around it. As I stepped out of the shower, it hit me—POW!—I’m not perfect. The last few days have not been stellar eating—a chocolate bar here, cookies there. What happened to all the “this time I’ll be a winner, this time I’ll do it, this time is different”, now that I have the band. I have more or less been a good girl for two months. As I thought more I remembered that on most other diets I would generally give up after two months (guess what—I started the pre-op diet on January 26th—two months ago). I would usually lose about 20 pounds, feel good and then give up, only to gain the weight back. Well I’ve lost 25 pounds give or take a couple of ups and downs this week. I think my inner voice/conscience/whatever was goading me into submission that of course again I am a failure. Might as well give up and resolve that you will always be fat and will never succeed in losing this weight for good, that you will never be perfect. Then I started looking for the blame or excuse. It wasn’t me, it must be some other external force that I can’t control. I’ve been back to work for two weeks and it isn’t a happy place right now. Not one person has commented that I look thinner—which means maybe I haven’t actually lost any weight. They are morons anyway. My son is leaving on Sunday for his trip to South Africa. He has been house-sitting for the last 6 weeks so I haven’t seen much of him and I miss our talks. He is coming home for dinner, but then I won’t see him for another month. I haven’t seen many of my friends for a long time since I was sick last week and haven’t felt like going out. So don’t you agree, I have my list of excuses for quitting this diet, which is really a non-diet, which I was never going to succeed with so why did I waste all this money and time. Eat the cookies, eat the chocolate—it’s not my fault!

Then a few thoughts started filtering through which made me stop the downward spiral. Some of the blogs I am following were posting similar insights. Then my best friend who is on this weight loss journey with me (without the band) sent me this e-mail:

“Today the scale finally showed 189. Well that is unbelievable. I have not sat at this weight for years. This took from the time I returned to school (last September) until now to lose 12 pounds. I can tell you that now that I have crushed the threshold I feel like there is a renewed sense of energy. I have a new goal—to be under 180 by the end of June. I have not been there in years so if it takes three months to get past the 180 mark so be it. I have decided it is little bites at a time so I do not feel overwhelmed. When I count down what I want to lose altogether I feel overwhelmed and discouraged but when I do it like this and the goal is reasonable I don’t get discouraged. I think when you are discouraged you beat yourself up. Sandy, keep up the good work too, do not discouraged because everyday is a new day.”

Reading this I started to feel that maybe I need to start working on me. The last 3 months have been a whirlwind of research, preparation, surgery, recovery. I am feeling a bit lost now, 6 weeks post surgery, as to what am I supposed to do next. I love analogies and liken getting the band to the feeling of getting married or having a baby. We research and plan like crazy for months. The day happens—wedding day or birth of babe—the honeymoon phase hits and then the real work begins. The excitement is over and the day to day stuff still has to happen whether you feel like it or not. You have to work at a marriage. You have to work to raise a child. Well now that the excitement of having the lapband is subsiding, I have to work to lose the weight. Too bad it couldn’t have had a wire attached to our brains to reprogram our thoughts.

Which led me to the conclusion, that I’m not perfect. I will never be perfect. I am a great believer in inspirational quotes and when I opened another e-mail, there was the weekly inspirational newsletter from the Doctor from the Weight Management Clinic I go to. This is the same doctor that does my fills and who did my unfill (or is it a defill?).

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”—George Bernard Shaw.

If you want to read the full newsletter click here. Also in the newsletter, my doc made the comment that INNER POWER must be cultivated. You must work on this constantly, and never give up trying. Success in weight loss, success in achieving fitness, means working to understand and accept your feelings. You must learn to accept yourself. You must learn to see the good you have. Don’t concentrate on lost possibilities (real or imagined). Accept yourself, and then seek solutions to control eating even under tough circumstances. Don’t make excuses.

Which means I have some inner work to do. All these “excuses” or circumstances that are happening right now are just missed opportunities to go forward. The wedding is over. The baby is born. The honeymoon is paid for. Now life goes on and with it some insights and struggles—our “Why’s & Wherefores”. It’s taken me a while to figure out what the expression actually means. So I did what I always do when I need to know something—I Googled it. And here is what I got.

Few people these days, in truth, can be quite sure what wherefore means. As a result, one of Shakespeare’s most quoted lines is often misunderstood. When Juliet asked, “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”, she wasn’t checking to see if he was on the ground below her balcony but asking why he was the person he was, a member of the hated rival Montague family. It means “why”, not “where”. The usual meaning is a bit more than just that of the individual words, which is why the apparent redundancy has survived — as a way to emphasize that what’s needed is not just a reason, but the whole reason, or all the reasons.

This post is just one of the “Why's & Wherefores” I will be working through in my blog. Sorry if it is really long and disjointed. It is how my brain is working today. And yes, it is a new day. And so will tomorrow and the day after that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday List

I wasn't going to do this but I got sucked in by all your lovely answers...

1. If you could change your first name - what would it be? I like my name so probably wouldn't change it, although when I was a teenager I wanted to be called Alexandra.

2. Why are man hole covers round? I didn’t realize there were covers for the holes in a man. All these years I could have used them for their mouths and butts. Oh the suffering I have endured. This would be a good gift for Drazil’s office mate who likes to explode in the bathroom beside her desk! But I really like the one answer which said a round cover could never fall into a round hole, but a square one could fall into a square hole. Guess it is a safety thingy.

3. What's one of your biggest pet peeves? Co-workers getting praise for a project when you actually did the work and they weren’t even here!

4. If you could be a car - what would it be? I don’t really care about cars. Right now I drive a small SUV that I bought because it matched my nail polish. The Chrysler Crossfire is my hubby’s mid-life car. But I don't really like it—too hard to get in and out of and it is standard—come on they fixed that years ago when they invented automatic. He got the sports car and a year later I got a new kitchen.
Seriously, if I could pick a vehicle it would be a motorcycle. Fast, cool and you get to wear leather.
5. What's the biggest thing you learned from a blog this week or which blog spoke to you the most this week off the top of your head? Camille posted pictures of her surgery and I found it fascinating to see the band around the stomach (Caution: May be too graphic for some audiences. Viewer discretion is advised). Oh and Drazil had me in stitches about trying to eat some chocolate.

6. Did you eat anything last night that you wouldn’t want all the world to know ? Yes. I mixed up, rolled, baked and then ate a dozen peanut butter cookies.

I know that question wasn’t on the original list, but I hoped to slip it by everyone. Yes, I ate 12 peanut butter cookies. And they were so good. Today is a better day, but the dough is still in the fridge. And I will also add that the scale is up. Go figure.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Annoying Automated Voices

This is one of those posts which doesn't have a lot to say so skip over it if you like. Twice a week I travel to another work location to help out another group. The offices are located in a huge 4 Tower complex in Québec and the elevators talk, not only in English but in Canada's second official language French. As I stood heating up my lunch (the microwaves are located by the elevators), this voice kept repeating

      ~~~~~~Niveau Trois~~~~~~Level Three
(I work on the 3rd floor and lots of people were heading out or coming back from lunch)

Once in the elevator, she tells you where you are going.
     ~~~~~~Descendre~~~~~~Going Down
     ~~~~~~Monter~~~~~~Going Up

When I first got here I thought it was kind of cool (put in place for the visually impaired or those caffeine deprived individuals who don't know where they are), but when you have to stop at every floor it does start to grate on your nerves. For security reasons we aren't able to use the stairs so I guess I'll just practice my French. I got thinking, if they would just repeat two different words a day in English and French the entire workforce will be bilingual in no time at all. We'd just have to ride the elevator all day!

Well that's my boring day. Listening to the elevator lady. Maybe I will dial my voicemail and see if that lady wants to talk today. The other night I had to order a prescription renewal and the voicelady took forever to repeat what I wanted. You know when they say "If this is correct, press 1" over and over again. And those GPS voices-Oyyyy-I don't have one but I could not live with someone taunting me to turn all the time or telling me where to go. Funny how all these voiceladies (not too many voicemen out there) don't listen when you yell at them. They just calmly keep repeating the instructions.

I just finished lunch and ate mac & cheese and a spicy chicken breast. I guess the band has opened up, because I can eat again. I still get this funny ache in my left shoulder after I eat and am hoping I can stay in control and not eat junk. The weight isn't budging but then I think I did get rather dehydrated over the weekend. I need a little walk so I guess I'll just go Descendre. And...(You can use Babel Fish to translate-except for my french friends who will probably correct me)... J'espère que vous avez un beau jour!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Goodbye Obese, Hello Overweight

Very quick post. By not eating much in the last week, I slipped out of the obese BMI and into overweight. I thought it would be much more cataclysmic but it's just another day. I'll take it though. I also managed to hit the 25 pounds lost. Must be the Chicken Noodle soup. I've slowly started to eat some pureed food again and am feeling so much better. Thanks for all the uplifting comments. You guys are soooo great!

Sending everyone a nice smiley sun to brighten your day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chicken Soup

Just had to post what a great day this is! I have been drinking all day (and nothing alcoholic). The doc suggested I get in some extra salt and so glad I did. Since this morning and the un-fill I have been able to easily drink down the following:
>>1/2 glass skim milk
>>chocolate protein shake
>>chicken noodle cup-a-soup (whodathunk chicken broth can bring you back to life)
>>broccoli soup
>>edamame beans (well not truly liquid but covered in salt)
>>4 cups water
>>handful of tiny Rolos (chocolate covered caramels)
No pain, no barfing, no problem. Now hungry. So happy. I need a fill!


I just got back from my Doctor where I waited in tears for an unfill. I told him to take it all out, but I’m sure he left some in. I had my first fill two weeks ago, where he added 1 cc to the 3 cc that were there at surgery. So one would think, I wasn’t even close to a “sweet spot”. But what a weekend I had. I'm pretty sure I have the 10 cc Lap Band VG (the one with the little pockets in the right photo)—that is the one he showed me.

Last Tuesday, I had a problem keeping food down so was on fluids, gradually working back up to soft foods by Thursday. Friday seemed fine so I didn’t call the doctor for an unfill. Then one lousy bite of chicken did me in after the meatloaf and squash I had for dinner on Friday. Saturday was no better—12 hours of vomiting—and I hadn’t even eaten anything. Sunday, I could only sip on some water and broth and the spasm pain around the band was bad. I couldn’t even swallow anything for pain. I had been dissolving two aspirin in some water but just that small gulp of liquid wasn’t staying down. I was only able to sleep with 4 pillows propping me up and leaning on my left side. I was sure the band had slipped and that my stomach was going to be squished in two. My doctor assured me that it was almost impossible for the band to slip as they suture it in place. Amazing the things that go through your head when you are in pain.

By Sunday night. I was ready to grab a knife and tear out the band. I was so unhappy that I had done this stupid, stupid surgery. I was in countdown mode until 8:00 am when my doctor’s office opened. After finding out he was actually in the office and could give me an unfill, I burst into tears. Afterwards, he also gave me his emergency contact number to call in case this happened again—a number he had forgotten to give me at my last appointment. So it is back to square one (no Gilly—not the mall). Most of the weekend I kept thinking back to when I was pregnant—I was nauseated and threw up for most of my two pregnancies. I remember then thinking that throwing up is the worst feeling in the world. It still is.

I am off work again today. Pretty weak—but so would anyone that has dropped 8 pounds in a few days. I know I am pretty dehydrated so will be drinking fluids most of the day. Right now the inside of my stomach is so inflamed, I need to take it easy and slow. I want to get this right, but also want to be able to eat my food, not drink it. I feel like I am back on the pre-op diet, b!tchin’ and complaining. I only read a couple of blogs over the weekend but gave up when I noticed a few postings about Chinese Food, subs, pizza and other good things to eat. That got my stomach growling and the pain started so I had to stop reading. I do hope you all enjoyed your food. I am so envious.

I am working on patience—not my strong suit—it took me years to get to this weight and maybe I need to remember that I am only 6 weeks out of surgery. I have to take each pound as it comes and give it time and work with this band (my buddy). It’s being very stubborn right now so I need to make friends with it again. I’m sorry, little Buddy, I really didn’t mean it when I said I wanted to cut you out. Can we make up and be friends again?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Wasn’t Fat Enough

I just had a call from a company that tries to get reimbursements from my private insurance company to cover the cost of the Lapband (not surgery costs). I was rejected—I wasn’t fat enough. She told me their cut-off is a BMI > 35 and mine came in at 34. Didn’t matter that I had a bunch of co-morbidities. Money isn’t really the issue here. I chose the band to keep me from dying young. So what is a few thousand dollars when you can be around for years longer. My kids still tell me, and have for years, that they get to choose my nursing home. Ha to them. I’ll be around longer and healthier than they thought. And the cost of the lapband just came out of their inheritance.

I grew up in the era of Twiggy (see picture) and I guess I have always thought I was terribly fat, but that'll be another post. In a weird way it is strange to hear someone tell me I’m not fat enough. I guess this is actually an NSV. I’m not fat. Oh, and they aren’t coming to repo my band.

In other news, I don’t think I need to go for an un-fill. Since the vomiting incident on Tuesday, I have stuck to liquids and today the spasm/pain in my port is almost gone. The nurse at the clinic called back and said if it didn’t improve to go to my doctor to have an un-fill. Looks like I will be fine and just have to learn to eat slower and chew, chew, chew. I was able to eat some meatloaf and squash tonight.  I did remember that on Monday night I had most of a chicken burrito which had rice and corn in it. After reading a few posts I found out that corn might be indigestible and maybe it contributed to the stuck feeling. This learning is getting harder. Someday I’ll have a Ph.D. in banding, but first I have to get out of the remedial class.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy’s Day

I have a bit of Irish blood in me from way back when but today everyone gets to be Irish!
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
~Traditional Irish Blessing

I had hoped to be sitting in a pub this afternoon for a little celebration, but had a really bad day yesterday. Since my fill last week, I have been learning the chew, chew, chew—only had a couple of stucks but I am really tight in the morning. I ate a hard boiled egg yesterday morning followed by two hours of agony, sliming, pain, vomiting. Lasted all day and I am now on fluids. I don’t think it helped that I also had a root canal in the middle of the afternoon. Done in by the stress. I am waiting for some advice from the nurse at the clinic to see if I should just wait this out or go in for an unfill. Feeling much better today, but had to take another day off work and am sticking to fluids. Scares the bejeebers out of you though. I also got these uncontrollable hiccups. And most of the night these little bubbles kept coming out like when you eat Pop Rocks (Ashli named them that). It was strange though—only popped when I was lying on my left (port) side.

So even though today is a day to enjoy a good beer (and I do!), I’ll be sticking to milkshakes, soup and water (maybe with a bit of green food colouring). I will be driving the DH to a pub and be his designated driver but don't think I'll be able to handle the crowds and food and not being able to drink a beer.

I also saw a great posting today by JackSh*t, Getting’ Fit explaining what he thinks are interesting posts. Roo and Andrew—he’s another guy blogger you can follow if you haven't already found him. Today he mentioned when talking about weight loss that “Everyone's got their own "how", but the "why's" always seem to be singular and unique”. I have to agree that the posts I enjoy most are the ones where someone has had a lightbulb moment and figured something out. This weight loss is a journey of discovery which is why I depend on those that have gone before me to share these experiences so I can help discover mine. I need to think on this some more but will try to do the "Why’s and Wherefores" post in the next few days.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday. The Ides of March but the weather is really nice here (14C or mid fifties F). Warm, sunny and the snow is almost gone. I don’t feel much older but then I thought I was already this age last November until my DH corrected me—I had added a year by mistake. I also did the same “added a year” when I was 42. That entire year I told people I was 43 and on my next birthday, I got to stay the same. Can I give you a secret. Age is a state of mind. The body may start to show some strange changes as you age but the saddest is when I see someone who is mentally old. I like to think I am not even close to that happening. Have fun and laugh and you don't age.

Here is my Horoscope for today: Your sensitivity will be tested this year. Concentrate on keeping things in perspective and maintaining balance by using moderation in all aspects of life. Change is upon you and, to make it favorable, you must move slowly towards your goals.Too much, too fast will lead to setbacks and failure.

I think it has something to do with my band. I can read almost anything into my horoscope! As to my age, to challenge all you math enthusiasts out there, I have instituted a new numbering system for birthdays. A while back a friend mentioned that once you turn 50, you should be able to start the count backwards, sort of like in the movie Benjamin Buttons. So 51=49, 52=48, 53=47… Thus I am declaring I am now 44 (you figure out the math—answer below). I'm not sure if this is really a good thing—it is almost like a countdown to death—like you only have 44 more years left on this planet—but I will be one thin chick with my lapband. Age 44 was one of the best years of my life and one of the few years I could say I was happy with my weight (about 155 lbs). It was also the year I changed careers and trained in computer support which led me to a great job. 

We will probably go out to dinner tonight so I will have to find a good "band friendly" restaurant. Sunday dinner with my daughter was nice. She brought steak but I ended up cooking some chicken for me. I was also able to eat asparagus, broccoli and a few roasted potatoes. So yummy—I really have missed veges. The chew, chew, chew, slowly seems to be the trick with the band. Duh! I think I read that in a few of your blogs. They also brought a Blizzard cake from Dairy Queen as her BF thought I would be able to eat ice cream easily—what a nice guy. I was able to eat a small piece. Funny how ice cream can slide right through the band. I have one small piece left for today.

Answer: Today I am 56 years young!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just One More Bite

I’ve decided that my fill did me good and I hope it lasts. I’m down 2 pounds since Tuesday and I didn’t realize til today that I have now lost 10% of my weight and hope to reap some health benefits however small it may be. I honestly thought a measly 1cc (total of 4cc in a 10cc band) wouldn’t be all that earth shattering, but what a difference. I have restriction and can’t eat a lot of food. Friday night’s pizza was just a memory of a tiny slice eaten, then trying just one more bite—3 hours of pain. Last night I was able to eat a cup of chicken parmesan noodles, although it took me almost an hour to eat, chew, eat, chew, chew, chew. This morning I am still restricted after an egg and half a slice of toast. WARNING: if you feel that pain and think a glass of water will wash it down—NO! Don’t do it. For those wondering about the feeling of being stuck or full, it’s like swallowing a big candy by mistake. The esophagus/stomach goes into spasm, there is pain and no matter how you want it to just go down, it won’t. Like the candy, when it has dissolved you feel relief, the same as the food moving through to the bottom of the stomach. Band Groupie posted a neat picture of the stoma of the little pouch, so if you missed it make sure you take a look—it isn't just a big hole. I am learning not to take that one more bite—something hard to do since I am so used to just stuffing my mouth without thought. It’s going to take me a lot more time to get into that habit. I have come to the realization that I won’t be able to eat big bites and that it will take me a long time to eat just a little bit. As I ate my measly cup of food last night, I watched two episodes of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. For those who haven’t seen the show the host is Guy Fieri (from Guy’s Big Bite). He tours around the States looking for good food in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives—but the quantities are huge. He always tries these wonderful looking dishes and takes this humongous bite of food. He would have finished my measly little 1 cup in 1 bite! I love him—he is hilarious and fun and has this real cool spikey blond hair. He is always cooking with Sonoma County’s best—wine.
I’ve been able to catch up on a lot of blogs over the last few days and am staying motivated by all the posts I read. Some of you are wondering how to keep up with reading blogs. If you haven’t discovered Google Reader, I find it the easiest to see the most recent posts from a blog. If you open your Dashboard, in the bottom right hand corner is a link to View in Google Reader. It highlights post that haven’t been read. When I am away for a bit of time, I’m not able to read everything so just click on the button Mark All as Read and it starts again.

Daylight Savings Time has just sprung our clocks forward here. We lost an hour. It will be so hard getting up for work tomorrow morning and they say that accidents increase the Monday following the time change. The only time I loved losing that hour was when I worked the midnight shift and we lost the hour between 2:00 and 3:00. Oh well, it will be lighter out tonight until after 7:00 pm so that’s a good thing and in 5 days we will have more than 12 hours of light at the Spring equinox. It’s so all those farmers can stay out in their fields ploughing later in the day! And tomorrow—the Ides of March—is my birthday—I’ll be posting some thoughts about that tomorrow. My daughter and her boyfriend are bringing steaks over tonight for dinner. Not that I’ll be able to eat it but at least I’ll enjoy the company. She also decorates cakes and said she is bringing a special dessert for me. Here is one she made last year for the BF’s Birthday—he loves Super Mario. Well it is now 12:00 (actually only 11:00) so I best get off the couch and have a shower.

Before I go, good luck to Ashli who is having surgery on Monday, March 15th. You’ll do great! And see you on the other side!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Protein Drink = Laxative

I decided to post what I ate today. Since having my first fill on Tuesday afternoon I have had some trouble with solids so decided that fluids would be best. You can stop right now as it might be a bit ewwww.
    ~8:00 am: 2 mugs black coffee (I like it strong)
    ~10:00 am: 1 protein shake (those hideous pre-op drinks)
    ~11:00 am: 5 tiny, miniature crackers with peanut butter
    ~12:00 pm: everything flushed down the toilet

So I guess I get to start again don’t you think since I really haven’t had anything today. I don’t know what they put in my protein shakes because almost everytime I drink them, I am immediately headed for the can. I think I should just forgo drinking them and just pour them down the toilet. Sorry Drazil —I wasn’t able to do the butt-clench at work but also didn’t have time to bring any reading material (or laptop) with me either. Oh and if anyone needs a good cleanout, I’d be happy to share my protein drink. OK guys, TMI. It’s over.

There you have it. Moving to mushies for a day or two to sort this restriction out. And maybe a glass or three of wine when I get home tonight.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Dance times 20

20 pounds lost for good. I finally got to move my ticker after three weeks staying the same. It took so long for that last pound but it is gone for good. Still obese but not for long.

Happy Dance!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stuck—OMG the Pain!

I listen and learn so much from my blogger friends especially those that write about getting stuck, slimming and PBing (Power Burping for those new to the terminology). In most cases I only have to read to learn something but sometimes I only learn by actually doing. You might notice a theme for pictures I have with cats—this one stuck in a Guiness glass. I luv 'em.
OK, I have learned. You told me. Not that I didn’t listen. Major pain today one day after my first fill. I had been able to eat almost anything up until yesterday and then BAM, not much goes down. For breakfast I had coffee and watery oatbran and I was full for hours. Lunchtime came and I was able to eat about 2 tsp chicken salad on tortilla chips when the discomfort started so I stopped. A couple of hours later, I thought "lets try the tiny bran muffin I had made" (these are like 1 inch square). Owwwww! Bright me thought I’d just wash it down with some water. Owwwwwwwwww! I think the muffin acted like a sponge because now I could feel a big lump above my stomach, pain and me ready to foam at the mouth. Off to the washroom where I sat in a cubicle spitting into toilet paper (quietly so the others wouldn’t hear) for 5 minutes. One thing which actually worked was coughing. I guess the pressure pushed it down a bit but the pain stayed and radiated to my left shoulder.

Three hours later the pain is almost gone. I am now at home and sticking to fluids. Well I just opened a bottle of red wine and am sipping it. Wine is a fluid and after reading the link I posted yesterday about how wine can help you lose weight, I’m sticking to that for awhile.

Lesson learned—at least I knew what was going on and knew it would pass thanks to reading all the blogs from experienced bandsters. Too bad it was one of those experiences where I had to learn hands on. Guess I have restriction after my fill. I just hope it lasts. My advice to those newbies who have not had the stuck experience: I hope you learn from reading other bandsters and don’t need to feel it first hand. But if you do, know that it will pass. And wine really helps.

As a followup to the 4 pricks of the needle it took to get my fill: Really, Really, REALLY it did not hurt. I only felt one needle and it felt like a mosquito bite. The stuck episode today was more painful than I could have imagined. On Monday, I had a root canal and that was so painful (she needed to give me freezing 10 times with the needle). Childbirth was easier and I have to go back next week for her to finish. At least the nerves are gone! So anyone going for a fill—it is really, really easy peasy! Don't for a minute worry.

I also have to post a link to Michelle who posted the most awesome, heart wrenching and enlightening post today. I hope you don't mind. I am so proud that you shared this with us and I mean it when I say we really do care. I had to lie to the person who saw my tears that there must be some dust in the air making my eyes water. Go you! And thanks for sharing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Fill

I had my first fill two hours ago. It took the doc 4 tries with the needle to find the port but it didn’t hurt. The most pain came from him poking around trying to find the port with his fingers. There were already 3 cc in it from surgery and he added another cc so I hope it will give me some help to lose a few pounds in the next couple of weeks. I drank some water, burped and off I went.

An hour ago I drank a cup of tomato soup with no problem. I just finished eating some small crackers with a bit of chicken salad. I’m also listening to everyone to chew, chew, chew and have patience and take my time. So far so good but I can feel a bit of pressure already. Happy to be moving forward.

I just had to add this link. A glass of wine may keep women from gaining weight, study says . I knew it! I am so happy and may pop open a bottle!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ho Hum Back at Work

First day back at work. I think I want to do something crazy like run down the hall naked or maybe make funny faces at my boss. Just thinking of ways to have them send me on stress leave! Only had 150 e-mails to delete and file when I got back after 4 weeks away. Not even any juicy gossip to excite the day except for the cute pictures and jokes sent my way. These cats made me laugh because there is always one in the crowd (I'm the one sneaking into the picture at the bottom left. The other one is like all the people I work with, although he does look a bit stoned). Can't wait for the end of the day. I have a dentist appointment at 1:00 to fix an abscessed tooth and then have to be back at work for a meeting. Can this day get any more exciting. OMG, it's time for lunch!

Back to the grind lunch. I have pulled beef in BBQ sauce, a whole wheat bun and coleslaw. We'll see how things go down. It went down totally smooth last night for dinner along with a couple of glasses of wine and some cupcakes. Dinner out on Saturday at a Thai restaurant also went down smooth except I didn't eat as much as normal, so a small victory. I am hungry and I am eating. Tomorrow should be more exciting: My first fill. Will I start to lose some weight or will I continue to be able to eat practically everything. Not looking for miracles here but I so want to move my ticker down.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunshine Awards

A whole bouquet of flowers to you! Thanks to Jess, Gilly and Band Goupie for my Sunshine Award. I am passing along this award to very deserving and fantabulous bloggers—Oldies, Newbies and Wannabies! It is very hard to reduce the number from the 74 blogs I follow, so I hope no one is offended that you didn’t get included in my list. And I know I went over the number but I never follow rules. So take your award and post it! The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world. Once you receive one, then you:
1. Post the logo on your blog.
2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees
4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person you received this award from.

These are the blogs that are getting me through this journey (also see links above):

Oldies that have been working the band for months:
Girl Bandit:
Fitness Bandit:

Newbies to band land (in the last few months):
Athena’s Melting:
Banderific Beauty:

Bianca J:

Wannabie Bandsters:
Unknown Bander:

I hope you all have a fantastic Sunday. I'm lazing around enjoying the last day of my medical leave before going back to work tomorrow (YUCK!).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Buds, Birds and Confessions

Spring is in the air in this northern city of snow and I finally got off my butt and went for a walk outside. Here in Ottawa it is sunny and the sidewalks are clear. It is still nippy but above freezing (going to a high of 10C/51F today) and I must say it is so nice to get outside again. This is my third day walking and it is amazing to watch nature wakeup from it’s hibernation. The other day, I saw geese flying north and today, the buds are on the trees. A bit early but with our mild temperatures, I guess they decided to wake up. I am so looking forward to green again. I remember driving down to Florida at Christmas one year and marvelling at the green trees at a rest stop in Georgia. I think we forget that feeling of new life.

I am back to work on Monday but not looking forward to it. I know some of you only took a few days for the lapband surgery, but I milked 4 weeks medical leave out of it. No one at work knows why I was taking leave although most thought it was stress leave! I told a few I was having a hiatus hernia repair (true) but will never tell anyone at work about the band—most of the people I work with are male techie morons. I’m glad I took the extra time as I only started feeling energetic this last week. I guess with age it takes longer to bounce back. I have been sleeping for 8-10 hours every night—a wonder since I used to sleep poorly from gastric reflux, all but gone. Now it's back to waking up at 6:00 am. At least I have another week before we “spring forward” to Daylight Savings Time and lose the extra hour we got last November. And soon it will be my birthday (15th) and then the Spring Equinox (20th). Can you feel the excitement of someone who suffers from S.A.D. and needs the sun! Last year on this exact day we were leaving Sydney, Australia after our 3 week trip downunder. I wonder—do you guys in N.Z. and Oz think of coming to North America as taking a trip downunder too?

Now to eating and confessions of a bad Friday. I think it is cool that Jen suggested we do a Weekday Dish and record what we ate for one day in our blogs. One of the blogs (that will remain nameless) mentioned eating a small York Peppermint Patty. I guess this became imbedded in my brain as I strolled through Walmart because I thought “why not buy a bag and eat one or two when I really want some chocolate”. WARNING: do not buy a bag of anything chocolate or sweet even if they are wrapped separately. I can’t tell you how many were in the bag (maybe 20?) but each was 50 calories. There are three (3) left. I was all alone yesterday so ok, it is out in the open—I ate almost the entire bag. By the way, peppermint patties melt and flow right through the band. The sugar high brought on cravings so I had to eat dinner early, then later ham & cheese on a hamburger bun with no restriction whatsoever. Now after 3 ½ weeks post surgery I can eat almost anything. I now know the definition of Bandster Hell. Buddy (my band) is taking it easy right now. I envision him lounging around waiting to work his magic, probably on March break right now with a glass of bubbly in his hand. I’m not sure why my band is a he—maybe it’s because I will have to motivate him, like DH, to get him to start working. Thank god, I have my first fill on Tuesday. Maybe then I will see some results.

Thanks to Jess, Gilly and Band Goupie  for my Sunshine Award. I will work on Passing it Forward to my other blogger friends in an awards ceremony tomorrow. The Sunshine Award is a good name—I now have a bouquet of flowers blooming until my own pop up in a few weeks.

PS-the last three peppermint patties are now gone—Me bad!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Scary Moment

First of all my 24 year old son is ok. This morning I received a call asking if I was Andrew’s mom to which I replied yes. He then said my son was ok, but… he has carbon monoxide poisoning!

OMG, that sinking feeling and that scary moment when you hear that something has happened to your child. My son works for Air Canada ground crew and he was doing a security sweep of a plane which had sat overnight. They run gas powered heaters all night to keep the water lines from freezing. The exhaust wasn’t properly positioned so the airplane filled with carbon monoxide but since it has no odour you don’t know it is there. He had been in the plane for about 20 minutes when he started to feel dizzy and had a headache. When he saw that the CO detector was in the danger range, he finally opened the doors to vent and got out. They had him lie down and the firemen from the airport started him on oxygen. That was when I got the call. When that happens, it doesn’t matter if they are babies or toddlers or adults, the OMG moment hits with the same terrifying impact.

The paramedics arrived and again hooked him up to oxygen and took him to the hospital which is where I headed when I got the call. He was finally cleared to leave after 4 hours and a second blood test showed his CO levels were at zero. Something had happened to the first blood sample as the lab asked if the patient was still alive. Repeat blood test. He was sitting up, looking perfectly fine. And making jokes about all the nifty stuff in the ambulance. He figured he must be ok because they didn't use the siren or flashing lights on the way to the hospital.

So all is well again. I have eaten only a few bites of food and really don’t feel hungry. Worry can do that! He is home for the night so I can watch him. He is 24. He is an adult. But he will always be my baby. And I will always worry. If you have kids go give them a hug right now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oil Painting & Donuts

On Tuesday nights I take an oil painting class where I am painting a cute picture of my daughter when she was 6 years old (she’s 26 now). I’ve been working on this since last September but only paint during class—the rocks in the background have taken weeks and still aren’t finished and I need to add her shoes and some leaves. My teacher is really good but still helps us out a lot and I will give almost full credit to her for making the hair look real. I still have a few weeks to finish this off (I only paint during class—can’t find the time at home) and will have to sign up for the third series of classes in April/May. I am hoping my next project to be a door—either a garden gate or door to my house. And Debi from Hawaii Bound Bandster, I love your paintings and maybe one day I’ll be as good as you are (and faster—LOL).

Now to the donut reference in the title. As I drove home around 9:30 from class, I pass a donut shop. In the past I have been know to buy 6 donuts, eat two on the way home, another two when I got home, then hide the last two for later and dispose of the box. Just so my family would not see that I actually came home with 6 (or twelve) sometimes.

Now that I can eat regular food again, I wondered. And thought. And finally stopped and bought an apple fritter. It sat patiently beside me on the short ride home. I put all my stuff away, pulled out a plate, knife and fork. Cut the donut into small pieces and then ate the WHOLE THING. I didn’t feel any restriction at all. All I could think about is how good it would have been to have a glass of milk with it (skim of course). Guess it is time for a fill. I must say I didn’t feel like eating another one though.

I know. I know. Donuts are not on the list of good stuff to eat but they are still there in real life. I just wondered what would happen and now I know. I can eat just one and not my normal 4 (with the sugar rush). In a way this is an NSV for me. Control is what I’m looking for. Another small NSV is my jeans are falling off my bum. I had to buy a belt to hold them up. I am soooo close to losing 20 pounds (0.6 pound to go), I can almost taste it. Guess I should have passed up the donut last night. But my daughter is looking so cute!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Big Girl Food

Tomorrow, I start on real food. No more “soft/mushies”. I’m over the pureed baby food and mushy toddler phase and pass into big girl food. You know the stuff that actually looks like a chicken breast or carrot or chunk of cheese, without having to finely chop, purée or shred. I have some restriction and still feel a pressure in my left shoulder when I have eaten enough.

My short trip was wonderful. I picked up some healthy snack food for the big Gold Medal Hockey Game party at my brothers house. Things like salsa, hummus, paté and some soft crackers, so food wise, I didn’t overdo it like normal except for a few glasses of red wine. OK, I have to add what a thrill for Canada to win Gold. Woo Hoo!

My best friend and I talked a lot about food and losing weight. We are working on eating real food instead of the processed crap—you know the Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and similar lines of products, all those quick packages, bars, drinks and fast food. Camille mentioned the Fiber One bars her nutritionist recommended. You will need to read her post to get her take on this advice. I too have to add that nutritionists should not be recommending these highly processed foods. Yes they are good occasionally when you can’t get any other food, but give me a break, why are we replacing real food with these things. I was getting too dependent on protein bars and snacks over the last couple of years. I didn’t really need them but figured everyone was recommending them so they must be good. I think the food companies are brainwashing us again. Dr. Oz mentioned on one of his shows that the longer the shelf life of a processed food, the poorer it is for you healthwise. Why have I been so stupid? I know better than to be influenced by those commercials showing me the easy way to get healthy.

When my kids were younger, I always cooked simple dinners for them. When my daughter left home and my son was away working most of the time, I got hooked on the convenience of pulling a frozen entré out for work or dinner or picking up the chicken meal at the grocery store (complete with potato wedges and that greasy coleslaw) or making a stop at the fast food drive-thru. I think I knew in the back of my mind that they were oversized, over salted and making me sick. So now that I am going to be able to eat big girl food, I wanted to make food the same as when my kids were little.

On my way home I bought a bunch of stuff to make some prepared lunches for work in Band friendly portions. I also bought some 1 cup containers—Take-Alongs by Rubbermaid. One cup seems so small. The picture shows them beside the 1 cup (250 ml) measure. No wonder I didn’t lose any weight in the past. Most of my containers were 2-3 times that size. Portion estimating is something I will be working on. I’ll be pulling out my scale and measuring cups to double check my food portions for the next little while. I have an appointment for my first fill on March 9th so hope it will help me get over this plateau and I will start losing some weight. I think my mind was convinced that I would wake up from surgery and magically 50 pounds would be gone. Only dreaming. Patience isn’t one of my strong suits.
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