Sunday, January 29, 2012

Checking In

Just wanted to do a quick update since my gallbladder surgery last Tuesday. All went well. Had the surgery at 8:00 am on Tuesday and woke up in Recovery at 9:10 am wide awake. A first for me. With no pain. I guess my doc gave me a shot of Dilaudid (or something similar) in the OR. Nice doc.

I was out of recovery and headed home after another dose of Tylenol #3 in my veins and basically watched TV for the rest of the day. DH brought me some soup but I was stunned how little pain after the laparoscopy. I have 4 holes in me in different spots than after the band but it was a much easier surgery. Wednesday, I took Tylenol #3 in the morning and again at night to sleep and that's basically it. I've had a few Ibuprofen since but am feeling quite good. I'm even back cooking.

I asked and received 4 weeks off to recuperate.

Am I a suck or what. I do have to attend a three day training course Monday to Wednesday so hope the sitting for long periods of time doesn't wear me down.

Honestly, I could have gone back to work. The wonders of Laparascopic surgery. I had 4 weeks off when I had my band but I think I needed that time to adjust to the eating.

One thing my clinic had suggested but I ignored was to have a defill before surgery. Since I had no problems eating with my current fill level, I chose to ignore it and was able to drink and eat ok. I was a bit worried that with all the poking, the band might get irritated but so far all is well.

I have a fill booked on February 7th so hope to get some hunger relief. Although lying around watching TV, surfing blogs and being cooped up in the house is getting a bit stale. I ventured out yesterday to the grocery store. We've been snowed/iced in for the last 4 days and the snow is coming again today. Not as much as in a normal winter and it will soon be spring!
My backyard

To the other ladies who went under the knife this past week too, take the pain meds, relax and get well soon. And hope you don't have too much snow!

I still have 3 weeks of sick leave left to fill. No sympathy needed for me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Home from Surgery

Just got back from the hospital. All went well. Feeling pretty good thanks to pain pills.

Easy peasy. One gallbladder gone! Hubby playing nursemaid. We'll see how long I can milk it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Red Licorice

At my new workplace they have a really nice lunch room with a vending machine full of chips, chocolate bars and these small packs of red licorice. It's a little downfall of mine.
If you look really close, it says "As Always, A Low Fat Candy" 

Yesterday and today have been stellar eating days. I had reached epic sugar loads for the last couple of weeks and decided to smash that sugar monster from my body. But the brain doesn't listen very well. It keeps telling me to eat some sugar. 

On both days I've convinced myself NOT to buy the red licorice. I was almost successful until my meeting ended early this afternoon. So my mind wandered. I deserved the red licorice. I needed the red licorice. Go buy the red licorice. 

So I unlocked the drawer to get my purse, pulled out my wallet went to the vending machine. Half way across the lunch room, I saw the space where red licorice is supposed to be—EMPTY. 

Oh the injustice! 

Off course I had to walk right up to the machine to check if they moved it to another slot. Nope. All gone. A little sticky in the empty space said 'reglisse'. I work in a French office but I just knew that word meant licorice (it does). ***Le sigh*** 

OK, one of you was sending out vibes to make the red licorice disappear. It worked. I didn't need them but my brain is not so happy. 

I'm trying to do my best in the eating department before my gallbladder surgery on January 24th. I figure I should try to shrink my liver a bit since he'll be probing underneath it. I already have a fill booked for February 7th. I'm waiting two weeks post-op (thanks Darlin'!) although the real reason is having to attend a 3-day S*A*PTEC training course a week after surgery.

I need this fill. I have 3 work days left before I'm off for four weeks. Keep sending those vibes to make the red licorice disappear from that vending machine.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Days of Our Lives

I saw a comment on Lap Band Gal's blog from Judi, another long term bandster mentioning the relevance of continued blogging and keeping our blog, well, relevant and something others would want to read.

Now I will say, both these lovely girls are Band Superstars. And they are the reason we keep trucking through good and bad times. When I get to work each morning, the first thing I do is open my Google Reader to find out what is going on in all your lives. I can't actually go to your blogs because they are blocked so my commenting is sporadic.

But reading how everyone is doing gives me a lift. I don't need TV much anymore, as reading blogs is like having my own little Soap Opera every day like "The Days of Our Lives".  Sometimes it is more like "The Young and the Restless", "Grey's Anatomy" or "The Simpson's". We have dramas and comedies and news. Some even have cliffhangers as we wait for a new post to find out the ending. Some bloggers are on hiatus but we hope for a comeback this season. Maybe like "Dallas", you can just forget an entire year.

I get a little something out of each of the blogs I follow, especially those that have been around for a looooong time. But it is also fun to see new faces with fresh ideas and questions. I see a few more followers and am trying to follow them. Please leave me a comment with a link to your blog if you'd like me to follow you too. I do edit out my list every once in awhile and drop those that haven't posted in a long time (so sad). But mostly I don't always want to hear about band stuff. I love hearing about life stuff.

It might be:
  • Hearing how someone's family is coping with a medical problem and how it is affecting them: (House). 
  • Reading some delicious recipes (Guy's Big Bite). 
  • Feeling bad when I read about slipped bands and unfills and hoping and praying all will correct itself (ER). 
  • Learning how food affects different people, whether it is gluten, protein, sugar or fat (CSI). 
  • Knowing that weight loss by whatever means is hard work and the brain is so involved (The Mentalist). 
  • Watching the various exercise regimes people are following (The Biggest Loser). 
  • Finding out about different parts of the world because that is where some of the people I follow live (National Geographic). 
  • Having a good laugh because somedays I really need one (America's Funniest Home Videos). 
I follow a couple of non-band blogs as well. My niece is in Scotland for a semester of school and she is blogging about a trip through France and then her school year. Another blog has wedding ideas.

But the ones that give me a boost are those that have lived this band life for years. I can list off all the current Band Superstars but also many more that have been around but have been a bit in the background. Please stay and keep giving out your advice and guidance. It is truly appreciated.

And on another note. Watch the Band Superstar Blog next week for a new episode, where another STAR will be revealed. The plot in this one makes a slight detour. But my lips are sealed. You will just have to wait.

We've also added a few new pages with links to some interesting posts. Check them out by clicking on the Pages listed on the right side of the Band Superstar blog. Please let us know if there is something you would like to add.

Until then, it's back to watching my favourite shows.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What Would You Do?

I just want to throw this out into blogland to see what others think or maybe to pose to your doctor. There must be statistics somewhere.

One of our bloggers, Big Daddy, mentioned last year that his doctor recommended being defilled every couple of years to give the band and/or stomach a rest. My doctor doesn’t make any recommendation but…

My experience over the last couple of years is this fill-unfill-refill-defill rollercoaster I've been on. My clinic is not aggressive at all with fills. I get 0.1 cc fills. I know that sounds small but it seems to be what works for me. And I can feel a difference with that tiny amount. I have free fills at the clinic where I had my surgery but I pay $50 here at home with a doctor who works with them. I guess I've seen him about 8 times ($400) and about 5 at the clinic.

I also have big problems when I fly so they take out some fluid. My last defill (down to 3 cc from 4.5 cc) was last September 29th just before BOOBS. It was the strangest feeling. I didn't feel like eating at all, although I had less fluid. That did change and I was able to eat anything and everything but after about 1 cup of food, I'd get this dull ache in my right shoulder, something I've experienced my entire band life. My trip to Europe was wonderful. Full of walking and Goulash Soup but with no problems eating. I gained 1 pound.

My weight stayed the same through the fall. On November 11th I returned to the clinic to be refilled. I also told them that I thought everyone should have an unfill/defill every once in a while. Things just felt different. I think not being too tight helped my stomach relax and readjust to the band again. The nurse said others had told her the same thing. She only gave me a pittance of what had been taken out 0.5 cc/1.5cc. Two weeks later another 0.4 cc was added.

And now I'm hungry. ALL THE TIME. I can blame Christmas. I can blame travelling. I can blame the winter. I'm up 2 pounds since BOOBS. It has to come off.

But I have to wait until after my gallbladder surgery on January 24th. I'm in Bandster Hell! Knowing that getting a fill will help take the hungries away but knowing I have to show my own self-control until then. I've booked a fill appointment on February 1st. I may only get a sparrow's fart of a fillmeaning 0.1 cc but know deep in my heart that this is the only way I can survive with the band. Little fills at a time. When I get too much of a fill, I am plagued by PB'ing, heartburn, throwing up and unable to eat more than a tablespoon of food. Twice I've been so sick, not being able to swallow my spit and don't want to revisit those times EVER again.

I think having an unfill respite for the last 4 months has made an enormous difference in living with the band. I just know that I still need the band and its restriction to do that. So I'll relive "Hell" for a few more weeks. And then really get down to business and make this investment pay off big time.

Throwing out this question: Do you think it wise to give the band/stomach a rest every once in a while by having an unfill/defill?

Monday, January 2, 2012

There is No Finish Line-The End is Just the Beginning

I'm reposting something I wrote in August 2010. It actually is good to revisit some of our old thoughts because this one is so real to me. I didn't reach the Finish Line in 2010, nor in 2011 because there isn't any Finish Line. How could I have forgotten this important little nugget of information.

The original post was partly plagiarized from a post by Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit  in March 2010. At that time, I had just started to lose weight and I wondered how it would be when I reached my goal, my finish line. But a funny thing happened on the way down. I realized that there is no end. There is no Finish Line. His post had such an impact on me at the time that I couldn’t say it any better. Thus the cut and paste from his blog.
  • This journey is not about a number. It’s bigger than that. More important than that. The changes I’ve made since I began this trek… eating less, eating healthier, exercising more… have changed my life for the better, regardless of whether that number is 191, 199 or 210. There’s nothing magical about any one number… the real magic is in reclaiming your body and your health.
  • “Losing weight” and “getting fit” aren’t necessarily the same thing. Maybe the two are interconnected early in the game, but “losing weight” is a Point A to Point B kind of deal; “getting fit” has no finish line. It’s the pursuit of a lifetime.
  • The end is just the beginning. That’s what has tripped me up in the past. Being done. Being finished. Slipping back into my old bad habits as if they were a pair of flannel pajama pants. You see, I’ve lost weight before only to forget what got me there, forget that chips and beer pack a high-calorie punch, basically just forget myself.
As I get closer and closer to that magic number that we call a “goal”, I see it doesn’t really matter if I get there in 2012. There is no award, no trophy, no crown, no ribbon proclaiming I have lost XX pounds. My body will decide the weight I stabilize at and the band will keep me at that weight and not yo-yo up as in the past. This whole process is about gaining my health and living a longer active life because…

“The End is Just the Beginning”.
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