17 August 2010

Teeny Tiny Loss!

Today was weight-in day. I lost .2 pounds. Yep, two tenths of a pound. It's small, but I'll take it! Especially since I've read on LBT about so many recent bandsters who have gained in the couple of weeks after surgery. Slow and steady, right?

I'm not surprised by my small weight loss. I have been hungrier the past week, so I am eating more. Even though I'm using "sugar free" and "no sugar added" products as often as possible, many of the things you can have on full liquids are not conducive to weight loss when that's all your're eating all day. Also, I stopped writing down what I was eating, thinking I could keep track of it in my head. BAD MOVE! I need that written record to keep me honest. So, today, I started writing things down again. And, I've let my exercise diminish the past few days. Today, no matter how busy I am, or how hot it gets, I'll find time for a walk. It may be a short one (as I'm slowly working my way up in time/distance), but it will be something!

I see my PCP this afternoon. He's been so supportive of this process. I'm eager to talk with him about my diabetes, and how to get back on track taking care of it. My surgeon's office is kind of conservative in their approach to it, because they don't want me having lows. I think I'd rather have a low once in a while and have good control the rest of the time, than have higher blood sugars, but no lows. Lows suck, but I can live with them. I'm going to ask my doc to return me to the regimen I was on before surgery, or to at least increase my insulin again. 

How is everyone else doing? I hope my lovely friends are all doing well -- and losing more weight than I am!

13 August 2010


I just logged in to read a few of your blog entries before going to the gym, and I noticed that I have 50 followers! WOW! Thank you all so much. If you are following me, and I'm not following you, please leave me the URL to your blog, so I can return the favor! I love reading about everyone's efforts, triumphs, NSVs, and yes -- your struggles, too. All of it helps me to anticipate what I'm in for as I go down this weight-loss road with the band.

Thanks again -- and Happy Week-end!


Thanks to Draz for the questions! I really enjoy answering them and reading everyone else's responses, too!

1. Do you remember your last dream?

Not really. But I do remember my dream night before last.  I was back in third grade and I got called to the board to work a math problem. It was a quadratic equation! I think I actually learned those in 8th or 9th grade! What can I say? I’m a bit of a geek.

2.  Which is your favorite body part of the human body and why?

I totally loved what Draz had to say about hands! They may be my new favorite body part. Up until I read her answer, I would have said the mouth, because it can smile. I’m a sucker for a great smile.

3.  Tell me about your first kiss...

My first kiss is kind of complicated … I started talking to a DJ at the local radio station over the phone, and we got to be quite friendly.  I lied to him and told him I was 16 (he was 20; I was really only 13!), so we arranged to meet one night. I told my parents I was going for a walk late at night (yeah, right!), and he met me at a dead-end off the road I lived on.  I was a little freaked out! Not only was that my first kiss, but it was my first lots of things (no, not that!). Needless to say, we got caught by my dad.  But I’ll give the guy some credit – he wasn’t easily run off. We were together off and on throughout my teenage years, and even into my 20s. We last saw each other when I was 21. We’re still in touch occasionally.

4.  How big is your bed?

We have a queen sized bed. Our bedroom is big enough for whatever we’d want to put in there, but we bought the bed when we got our first apartment 10 years ago, and that was all we had room for. We’re getting a new bed soon, but we love sleeping so close together, so will probably continue with the queen size.

5.  Repeat question....whose blog or comment stuck with you the most this week and why?

There was a tiny snarkfest on my blog – really, hardly worth noticing. I think it prompted Grace to post about the guy who started it all. I really appreciated that post. Not that I needed anyone to stick for me – and she didn’t, really – but it helped cement my own feelings about that person and his comments (Not just to me, but to others, too). I especially appreciated the sense (again!) that I really belong to this community, because of her post.  Thanks, Grace!

09 August 2010

I've Been A Bad, BAD Girl!

I have been so hungry the past day that I have eaten whatever has been in my path! That means that I've actually eaten a few times and strayed from my "full liquid" diet.

I have to confess: I've eaten Betty Crocker mashed potatoes, refried beans, and macaroni and cheese. I have a tub of KFC's mashed potatoes awaiting me and my next hunger pangs. I have my post-op appointment tomorrow at 11:30. I am definitely going to ask about moving to mushies early!

And, I keep forgetting not to drink with my meal. That's the way I've done it for years and years, so that's my habit. I think that will take a little more work on my part.

Other than that, I am doing well. Last night, Hubby got home to his parents' house, so we drove the hour and a half to our house. We had to come back today (long story. don't ask!), so we drove the hour and a half back. I'm okay with all that riding. We have two cars at his parents' house right now; I don't know when we'll take the second card home. Riding was okay, but I know I'm not up to driving that far!

One thing I forgot to mention -- WEIGHT LOSS! I'm down  29.4 pounds since I started my pre-op diet on 13 July! I can wear jeans that I haven't been able to wear for months. They aren't really comfortable, so I may wait a few more pounds before I start wearing them, but they fit! Good thing, because my current jeans don't fit so well anymore.

Hope you all are doing okay. I have a busy week, but will try to be better about visiting your blogs and commenting. Thanks so much for all the love! You all keep me going!

08 August 2010

Begin As You Mean To End ...

I don't remember when I first heard that old adage, but it's become my byword for lap band surgery. I'm trying to develop good habits now, when they may not mean as much, so that things will (hopefully) be easier somewhere down the road.

For example, I'm not hungry, but I sometimes want to eat. I am eating three meals a day, even though I'm not particularly hungry, so that I get in some nourishment. But I find myself wanting to eat at other times, too. Mind you, I'm not hungry. I have yet to be hungry, in fact, five days out from band surgery. I'm trying not to eat just to be eating (and when I say "eat" I mean "consume full liquids"; I'm not jonesing for anything off my plan), even though I could rationalize it by saying I'm eating so little, my body probably needs another yogurt.

But you know, this is harder than I thought it would be. Eating when I wasn't hungry has always been an issue for me. Especially when I'm alone. Especially after dark. So, I'm trying to fight the urge now, at the beginning, in hopes of it being a little easier to fight when I'm on my regular diet.

That's my biggest hurdle right now. Other than that, I'm doing pretty damn good. The strips on my incisions are beginning to itch, and I have a deep heaviness in my chest that sometimes borders on pain. Hiccups are the worse! I'm not having any pain at my incisions, though. In fact, I have no idea where they are, unless I look in a mirror or raise my shirt! I can sleep on either of my sides. I haven't tried sleeping on my tummy yet, but I wasn't much of a tummy-sleeper anyway. I still get very tired, very easily; I've been up about an hour and a half, and I'm wanting to go back to bed already! I'm not having any trouble getting my fluids in, though I'm not sure I'm getting my protein in each day. I had a BM on Friday, so that's getting back to normal.

My blood sugar is out of control! I'm not happy about that. I had really good control before the surgery. The surgeon decreased the diabetes medication so much that I'm having really high blood sugars. I'm going to talk to someone about that when I have my post-op appointment on Tuesday.

Thanks again to everyone for their well-wishes. I'm trying to get back into my blog-reading/commenting habit, so I should see you on your blogs soon!

06 August 2010

BYOC Friday!!!!! ♥♪ Bring Your Own Craziness ♥♪

Here are my answers to Drazil's BYOC for this week. I love answering these questions and reading everyone else's replies. It's great getting to know everyone better.

1. This is something a bit different and comes from my lovey dove Barbara (My NEW LIFE rules). It’s called “Which one would you rather?”….

  • Tom Cruise or Tom Brady? This is actually a toughie for me! I like Cruise’s looks and screen presence, but I think he’s a bit of a nut! I’m slowly becoming a football fan (Hubby is a big football fan), so Tom Brady is becoming more attractive to me.
  • Mr. Big or Tony Little? This is easy-peasy: Mr. Big! I had a thing for Chris Noth when he was on Lawn & Order. He’s just hot!
  • Whoopi Goldberg or making whoopi? Isn’t there another option? HAHA. At my current size, sex is logistically difficult – not so spontaneous and fun anymore. But I do remember the good ole days – and I look forward to being sexually active with my husband again. 
2. I know some of us have discussed this before but I’ve been thinking and hearing it more in blog land as many of you are getting closer to goal. How do you feel about plastic surgery? What lengths would you go to in order to achieve it?

I really don’t know how I feel about this. I’m not one of those people getting close to goal, so I’m not really having to think about it. I don’t reject the idea out of hand, though. I suspect I’ll come down on the side of plastic surgery if needed.

3. What’s your favorite website?

I spend an inordinate amount of time at Amazon, so that may be my favorite website!  Actually, I have to clarify that. My favorite website is a ning site where I take art classes. Unfortunately, you can’t see much of the site without a membership.

4. What’s your best tip for having a great vacation? (Yes, this is me being selfish….getting slightly nervous about my first vacay ever in 13 DAYS!)

I don’t really have any tips either. It’s been so long since I’ve been on a vacation that I hardly remember what they are like. I’d say make your plans, but stay open to stopping at an attraction you didn’t know about – especially if you are driving!

5. Repeat question….which blog or comment stuck with you the most this week and why?

The post that stuck with me the most was AtoZ’s post about her surgery. It stuck with me because I had surgery about a week after she did. She had a pretty rough time, and it made me very aware of the potential dangers and side-effects of this surgery.

05 August 2010

Surgery Update

I woke up early this AM because of back pain, so I thought I'd write my what surgery was like post while I wait for the LorTab to kick in.

First, I woke up way too early! I got up at 4:45 because I wanted to have plenty of time to get ready, double check my hospital bag, etc. In the shower, I had to scrub with a special anti-bacterial soap provided by the hospital. I had to use that soap the night before, too. I scrubbed and shaved my legs, and generally enjoyed the feel of the warm shower, since I didn't know what the next one would be like!

I was ready, bag double checked, by 5:30, and we weren't leaving until 6:00. I could have slept an extra half an hour! But then, I would have felt rushed, so I'm glad I got up too early and could get around at my leisure. We (My in-laws took me to surgery, as Hubby is out of town) loaded into the car a few minutes early, since we were all ready.

I signed into the desk at about 6:20, and got called back to admissions by about 6:30. Just a few minutes there as I had pre-admitted, and they sent me upstairs to pre-op. I had to say a temporary good-bye to my in-laws and I went to get ready. They did all the things you'd expect -- temperature, blood sugar, weigh me (I really liked their scales!), a MRSA test. Then they gave me a gown and had me change clothes. I was on what should have been the last day of my period, so they gave me some funny disposable panties and a pad. The panties were very boxy and probably didn't fit anyone correctly -- but you know they didn't fit me well! They reviewed my medical history with me. Someone came to draw blood, and someone else started me on an IV. Everyone was so professional and good at their jobs. And, everyone made me feel comfortable and supported about what was about to happen. I was very impressed with the staff. Dr. Krahn came by to check on me and to flip through my chart. I just love that man!

Eventually, my in-laws could come back and be with me. My MIL is a former nurse, so she was very curious about all the technical aspects of what was going on. It was kind of cute to see her shift into medical-mode. Because I hadn't slept well the night before, I probably could have slept a bit before surgery if they hadn't been there, but we all wanted to be together while we could be. I am so blessed, that not only did I get a great husband, but I got great in-laws too! We all genuinely love and like each other. They are truly family to me, and not just legal family. We are all very close, especially since I've lost both my parents.

At 9:20, I said a last "good-bye" to the in-laws and someone wheeled me back to the holding area. I had to pee in a cup for a pregnancy test, which wasn't so easy since I'd been NPO since midnight! After that, I just laid around for a bit. My surgeon came through and said a breezy "hello" as he went to do the procedure before mine. I met the anesthesiologist and talked with him for a few minutes. There was a momentary scare for me, when the surgery assistant asked if I had a cardiac clearance, as I've already had a heart attack (about 10 years ago). I hadn't and I was a little bit panicky. How pissed off -- not to mention just plain old disappointed! -- would I be if surgery was cancelled because I didn't have something no one told me I needed!? But, Dude continued flipping through my chart and said all was well and he'd see me in a few minutes to take me to the OR.

Sometime after 10AM, they took me into the OR to prep me for surgery. The table was tiny! I felt like I was going to fall off of it. Surgery Assistant Dude had me spread  my arms out as though I were on a cross and he secured my arms. After a few minutes of listening to the staff chatter while they got things ready, the anesthesiologist came in and sent me to la-la land! After he gave me an injection through my IV, he told me that I'd have a funny taste/feeling in my mouth and I'd be asleep five to ten seconds later. I was asleep before I had a chance to have the funny taste/feeling! I was out almost as soon as he said that!

I started waking up around noon in recovery. No pain, no discomfort. As soon as someone noticed I was awake, she gave me a pain shot. I guess it was preemptive, because I wasn't having any feeling at all -- much less pain! Because I had no unusual feelings, I was afraid that they hadn't done the procedure for some reason, but a few minutes later a nurse came by and said "Congratulations! Everything went very well."

By 1:20, I was settled in my room. My in-laws joined me and we chattered a bit. I wasn't really ready to sleep more, so we talked about their plans for the next few days and their experience of my surgery. I eventually sent them home so that I could sleep -- and so that they could probably nap! After all, we'd all be on the go since before 6:30, and they hadn't had the sleep I'd had! I got up and went to the restroom and walked a few times before I fell asleep.

They came back at about 5PM and stayed for an hour. Then, a good friend of mine came for a bit. She brought me a beautiful purple hydrangea and a cute little box to keep treasures in. She stayed until visiting hours were over, then I started settling in for bed.

Bedtime was the worst part! Even though I was walking a lot, I wasn't passing any gas, other than burping more than usual. So, when I went to bed, I had a horrible pain just under my left breast. As long as I was sitting up or standing up, I couldn't even feel it, but as soon as I tried to lay down, the pain was excruciating. I tilted the bed as far up as it would go, and it didn't go high enough! OH NO!!! But my night nurse found a recliner somewhere and brought it into my tiny room. I slept in the recliner from about 10PM to 2:30 Wednesday morning. I woke up having to pee so badly that I was in pain! I filled the hat thing that they put in the toilet to measure output!

Then, I tried to get in the bed (instead of the chair) and that worked. I slept like a baby until the nurse came and woke me up for vitals. At about 10:30, someone took me downstairs for a barium swallow test. That went well. The barium was kind of chalky, but not too gross. Then, back to my room for more walking and vital signs. The surgeon's nurse came to visit and talked with me a bit. She looked at my wounds and showed me where my port was, because I couldn't feel it. It's just above my belly button, to the right a little bit. She went and gave her report to the surgeon, and then my regular nurse came in to tell me that as soon as they got the written report from radiology, I was good to go.

She got the report a little bit before 1:00. I called my in-laws to come get me, then we did my discharge paperwork. I was back at the in-laws house by 2:20 PM.The surgeon has taken me off of my diabetes medication (unless my blood sugar reads over 150, then I'm to take half a dose of one of the medications), and he reduced my insulin by half. WOW! That means I'm down to nine units of insulin and maybe half an Actos. This time in July, I was taking 45 mg of Actos, four 5-500 mg of Glucovance spread through the day, and 24 units of insulin at bedtime! I'm already seeing great health results, so am fully expecting that my diabetes will go into remission when I begin to lose weight. I'm hoping my blood pressure stabilizes, too.

Some miscellaneous things I didn't mention:

  • At some point, I bit my lip something awful! It's swollen and hurts! 
  • My throat hurts where I was intubated. It even hurts from the outside, as though my glands were swollen, but they're not.
  • As you might expect, my meals were pitiful. Six ounces of watered down broth (either beef or chicken), a can of lite lemonade or a bottle of Diet Snapple, and a cup of hot tea. I always drank a good bit of the hot tea, and all my lemonade/Diet Snapple (well, actually, I saved it and drank it throughout the day). I only ate a bit of my broth. For one thing, it wasn't yummy, but for another thing, I just wasn't hungry.
  • I can drink normally. 
  • I'm not having any pain at the incisions. I barely know they are there, in fact. A little pain in my left shoulder, but that's all. 
  • My blood pressure got pretty high (174/79) but when I took my pain medicine regularly, it went down a bit, even though I wasn't conscious of being in pain. I thought that was very interesting! They were giving me a different blood pressure medication than I usually take, so maybe it just wasn't as effective.
  • Less than 48 hours after surgery, and the only pain medication I'm taking is what I would have taken before the surgery -- back, hips and knee pain. I'm taking a bit more than usual because all the time I'm spending in bed is hurting my lower back.
  • For the first several hours, I was really aware of a heaviness below the lower part of my breastbone. I'm assuming that's where the surgery took place and where the band is. Now, if I really concentrate, I can kind of feel that, but mostly I'm back to normal.
  • I was on clear liquids while I was in the hospital; full liquids start today! I'm glad Fudgsicles are considered a liquid, because the No Sugar Added ones are pretty damned YUMMY!
That's all I can think of right now. I am to call my surgeon's nurse on Friday for a check-in before the week-end. Then I have my post-op appointment on Tuesday, 10 August. I don't know when my first fill will be. Probably five to six weeks after that.

Thanks again to everyone for your support, encouragement, and healing thoughts. I thought of you guys while I was in the hospital and missed you! I'm back to bed for a bit more sleep now. I'll try to check in with your blogs later.

04 August 2010

I'm Home!

I'll post the obligatory this is what surgery was like post later, but I did want to let everyone know that I've made it home and all is well! Thanks so much for the kindness and good thoughts. I'm convinced they made a difference!

02 August 2010

Taking Care Of Business ...

Just some random things before I disappear for a few days!

First of all, thanks so much to everyone for their warm thoughts and wishes. I appreciate every single one of them. I’ll try to answer comments individually in a few days, but in the meantime, I wanted you to know that you are loved! I am really moved by how inclusive, encouraging and caring everyone is.

To those of you who have already been banded, thanks so much for sharing your stories. I feel so much more prepared for this than I would have been were it not for  your openness and honesty. YOU GUYS ROCK!

I’ve got laundry going on, hoping to kill time. I have to shower tonight with special soap, and then again in the morning. I’ll be up around 4:45 to make sure I get everything done in a timely fashion and get to the hospital in time. Hubby is out of town, as most of you know. I’m okay with him not being there for the surgery – but I sure do wish he was here with me right now! He has a great sense of humor and tells a good story, so I’m sure he could help distract me.

I have had a naval ring that had to be removed today. The surgeon’s PA told me that it could be replaced as soon as I felt up to it after I got home, but Dude at the tattoo place didn’t recommend that. I’ve had a couple of minor infections recently, so the piercing needs time to heal. I asked him about having the other side of my naval pierced but Dude recommended that I get to goal first. That’s right at two years away.

I’ll be honest with you – I cried a little bit on my way back from the tattoo place. I’ve had my naval ring for almost 16 years. I got it done in Arkansas for my 30th birthday. I needed to shake things up a bit, do something that someone like me wouldn’t do. Sixteen years ago, in northwest Arkansas, a naval piercing was rare enough that I had to look for someone to do it; not all tattoo shops did piercings back then.

So, it was hard to say good-bye to my naval ring. However, I’m not terribly sentimental about stuff, so I didn’t ask to keep it since I didn’t need it. Right now, I’m kind of wishing I had it. Oh well …

Thanks again to everyone. Hope you have a great couple of days. I’ll see you on the other side!

It's Gonna Happen!!!

I just got off the phone with my surgeon's office. Check-in time is at 6:30! AM! That is exactly what I was hoping for -- that I wouldn't have to wait all day for an afternoon surgery time. That would just make me more nervous and the time would go by very slowly, I'm sure.

I have trouble sleeping before big events, trips, etc., so I'm not sure how much sleep I'll be able to get tonight. I've got a ton of papers to review and my laptop to keep me company until the appointed time, however -- and plenty of blogs to read!

I'm getting ... not really nervous ... aware, I think is the best word. Some of you who have recently been banded have had a more difficult time than I've generally heard of others having, so I'm even more aware that this is major surgery, even if it is less invasive than gastric bypass. I've never been put under before and I'm aware of the dangers. I'm not really a worrier, so I'm not dwelling on them, but they do pop into my mind every so often.

I'm also aware of something else ... I think I've mentioned before that I generally don't have the greatest follow-through. I start projects that I never finish; I make plans that never come to fruition. I'm kind of in awe of myself that I'm actually doing this! That I didn't take a few steps toward it and then lose interest. Even my mother dying hasn't stopped me, and in the past, something like that would have totally thrown me off my path. I've made a commitment to myself to see this through, all the way to the end. I may struggle and lose interest for a few days, but I'm hoping that my band will help to keep me honest and on track. I fully intend to stick with this, in a way that I haven't in a long time. I feel good, for actually doing this.

I think this is the step I've been needing to take for a long time. I know that it isn't going to be easy. And I know that I'm going to have to work and be committed to my health and my band. I know that being thinner will make my life easier in some ways, but I'll still be me; my demons aren't going to go away just because I have a band. But I'm hoping that the band and I can work together to affect more positive change in my life.

01 August 2010

Blog Award -- and Nominations!

Thank you, Grace (of Grace’s Fat Chance) for your nomination for this Versatile Blogger Award! I’m so sorry that it has taken me so long to claim it and pass it along! I’ve been busy getting ready for my surgery Tuesday! With Hubby gone out of town, everything has fallen to me.

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Thank the person giving the award.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.
  4. Let your nominees know about the award.

  1. Done! See above!
  2. Seven things about myself? I’m generally a pretty open book, so it’s hard to think of things that might be interesting to you.
    • I was invited to -- and a attended -- one of the Inaugural Balls hosted by the Clinton's at President Clinton's first inauguration. My older sister was my date!
    • I am the Mother/staff to The Kitties Three -- three very different, but always delightful, cats.
    • I prefer studio recordings to live recordings, so I don't generally enjoy concerts and live shows.
    • I've had my naval pierced for nearly 16 years! Sadly, it must come out for the band surgery.
    • I met my Hubby on the internet in a BBW chat room on IRC -- almost 15 years ago!
    • I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Type I, about 16 years ago. I'm stable with medication, but I've had my moments through the years!
    • I am an artist (wow, that was hard to type!).
  3. 15 newly discovered blogs? So many of the blogs I read have already received this award, so I may not make it to 15!

Now, just to let everyone know!