Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Friends In Low Places

Throughout my career, I have been so blessed to work with some of the finest physicians anywhere. As I have changed jobs over the years, I've been so fortunate (and very thankful) to enjoy a continued good relationship with my former employers. Whether they want it or not, they usually get a hug from me whenever I see them. It's probably unusual to have always left a job on good terms, and continue to be able to say good things about a former employer. I'm really blessed in that regard. And while I enjoy a great rapport with them all, there are a few who stand out above the rest. One in particular actually saved the day for me today. Because of the issues I've been experiencing with the band, I called on the expertise of one of these fabulous men. You know how it is when you leave a message or fax for a physician. If you're very lucky, you'll hear back from them the same day; sometmes it can be several days. This particular doctor wasn't due back in his office until Thursday, and with his hectic schedule, I figured it would be sometime next week when he would have Judy or Carolyn call me back with a message. He absolutely, positively placed himself at the top of the heap, when he phoned me early this morning to discuss the questions I had faxed over yesterday. He put to rest my two most immediate concerns, and offered advice on some medications to try. Today I have a renewed hope that I'll be able to stick it out (pun intended) and possibly avoid surgical removal. I'm resigned to the fact that my band isn't going to work in the way it was intended, but if I can clear a few hurdles over the next couple of months, perhaps it will all work out in the end. Surgical removal is still quite probable, but at least now I have a glimmer of hope that I didn't have yesterday. For those who prayed for me, thank you. My "ruby slippers" arrived this morning in the form of a dear former employer/friend since 1979, who cares enough about me to invest 20 minutes in a very personal, caring, and helpful phone call. Most of the time we don't get 20 minutes of face-to-face time when we have an appointment!! For all you have taught me over the years professionally, for all the impeccable care you have provided to many, many members of my family, and for all you mean to me personally... thank you so much, Dr. JMW!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Devastating Band News :-(

All the whining I've been doing lately about pain when I swallow, feeling "stuck", and then the troubling news on my upper GI, seems to have been validated.  To catch you up, my upper GI showed esophageal dysmotility, and a high-riding band.  I saw my doctor this morning, and he said the band position is fine, however, the esophageal issue is something we can't ignore.  To try to "settle" it down, I have to stay on liquids and mushies.... possibly FOREVER!!!  I'm seven weeks out, and have not needed a fill, because I'm losing weight (22 lb since surgery, 42 in all), and I'm not feeling hunger.  He wants me to lose enough weight to let the band get loose, and see if the esophageal problems will abate.  But my question was.. when the band gets loose, that's when I will need a fill?  He said if it doesn't settle down, the band will have to be removed.  OMG.  So now I'm on liquids/mushies for who knows how long, and then the possibility looming over my head of having my wonderful band removed.  Woe is me. 

In trying to look at the brighter side, perhaps liquids and mushies will make the weight come off faster.  So at least I'll reach the deciding point (goal???) faster than if I were eating regular food. 

So if you have delicious mushie recipes to share, please send them my way.  Oh, and your good thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated as well.  Thanks so much. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can Someone Help Me Understand?

I just don't get the "following" thing on the blogs.  I have chosen several blogs to follow.  So what happens next?  Do I get an e-mail or something when ya'll post something?  Or do I just click your picture in the "Following" block?  The block with everyone's pictures on it that I see on MY end... are these people who are following me? 

The way I've done it in the past is just create a widget of my favorite blogs (look on my side bar... if you don't see yours, then holler at me so I can add it!)  I can tell at a glance if you've written something, just click your link and I'm there.  That way I don't go to someone's blog unless there is a new post that I haven't seen.

So what is the advantage of being a "follower" over creating a list of favorite blogs?  Sorry to be so blog-challenged, but I'd like to figure this out.  Thanks so much!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Totally Cheating

With today's blog entry, that its.  I have another blog for non-band related stuff, and some days I just don't get around to posting on both of them.  So I'm copying and pasting last night's entry from my CathyB blog... since it does go along with the whole weight-reduction thing. (Exercise! blech!)

Disclaimer:  "Yankee-type people" are some of my favorite people.  They usually just don't come from these parts, and often don't understand some of our words and our ways.  If you, your ownself, are not from these parts (deep south), then please don't take offense that I label everyone not from these parts (deep south) as a "Yankee-type" person.   However, you have my permission to be offended if you ever see me preface it with the word "damn".  :-)

Here's my hijacked blog from last night's CathyB
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some Buttons Are Best Left Unmashed

{I started to have for the title Some Buttons Are Best Left Unmashed. But that reminded me of what happened one time to Randy's cousin Teresa. Years ago she went to the Big City for a meeting in a big hotel, and upon entering the elevator, she asked the person near the control panel to "mash" 5. (Or whatever floor she was visiting.) She said the person just looked at her and said "Mash??? You want me to MASH #5??, okay I'll MASH #5 for you" Surely it must have been one of those Yankee-Type People. I think you'd have to be from way, way up north not to know what "mash" means. Do those people eat "pressed" potatoes? I think not. Mash that button, Mister!! The lady wants to go to a different floor! Press it if you will, but we say "mash" down here. I heard that story over 30 years ago, yet every time I get in an elevator, I think of Teresa and how we used to laugh about it.}


Well, you know what? I'm proud of my southern heritage, and so what if I'm a country bumpkin.... I'm going to change my title back to "unmashed". So if any of you Yankee-type people are reading, it means... push. As in, don't mash/push/press that button.

Okay. So now on to that button that I'm saying shouldn't be mashed. It's the number 10 button on my mama's treadmill. For the past two days, I've had a lovely walk about dusk-time, and fully intended to do it again today. Before I made it out the door in my walking shoes, my dad called with some internet problems. Far from a computer geek (very, very far!), sometimes I can get lucky, so I told him I'd be over in a bit. Their house is all out of order due to Mr. Lawrence working his magic with a paint brush, but it was time to get the office up and running again. After the internet project was complete, I spied my mom's treadmill sitting in the middle of the dining room. "This thing work?" I asked. "Yep, sure does!" So I pulled off my flip flops and climbed aboard. We flipped switches, and mashed buttons, and finally the floor beneath my feet started moving, and I was "walking"! Four laps around the track would be a mile. Not so bad. I was strolling along, every now and then mashing the + button that would increase the speed by .1 mph. Across the console of the treadmill, there's a series of buttons numbered 2 through 10. Feeling rather comfortable with my pace, I went to mash the + button again to increase the speed just a little. I didn't have all night, ya know. Oops. The 10 button is right next to the + button. See where this is going? Instead of the + button, I mashed the 10 button. I think 10 means 10 mph, which is quite a bit faster than the 1.8 I had been doing.

Did you ever watch the closing credits to The Jetsons? Yep, that's exactly what happened. From 1.8 to 10 mph in 1 second flat. It was hilarious. Thankfully I had my wits enough about me to step off to the side. But in doing so, I dislodged the little emergency key (in place for such a time as this) and turned it off. Now all my stats were gone from my first lap. I think I had burned about 38 calories by that time, but I'm not 100% sure. I had hoped having the stats would motivate me, but now they were gone. It would have been really sad if we hadn't been laughing so hard.

I recovered my composure, though, and fired up the machine again, this time at a comfy 2.0 mph and finished out my 1-mile walk. On lap 3 I even + up to 2.6 mph, but for just a short time, then back down to 2.0. It was fabulous!! That makes three nights in a row that I have walked. And it feels good. :-) Tomorrow night is salsa class again... but I think I've talked myself out of going this week. Maybe I'll catch it next week. Lots to do around The 409. But I promise, if I don't sweat it Latino style, I'll do the walking thing again. Or an exercise video, or something. Or maybe go use the treadmill again??? Maybe I'll even get one for myself. I don't think it would be half bad to do it while watching tv. I'll hafta think on that a bit.

But you can bet I won't ever mash the 10 button again!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Taking The First Step

I think I've heard or read somewhere that doing something consistently for two weeks will help it become a habit.  Well, if that's the case, two days down, twelve to go.  When my work shift was over last night at 9:00, there was enough light remaining for me to take a little stroll down the street.  I walked to the highway and back, and once I reached my driveway, thought I'd mosey on up to DJ's house.  (UP being the operative word here, as there is a killer hill leading into her yard.) I made it up there just fine, thank you very much, with minimal huffing and puffing and no CPR needed at all!  I did take a little break and sit for a spell and visit.  Which meant that by the time I walked down her hill, past the house where the man died, and climbed the hill (mountain) back to my house, that it was pitch-black dark.  Hmmmm.  I won't be doing that again.  Most of the street is well lit, but that little patch of road in front of the empty house is really dark and the woods are all covered with kudzoo.  At any rate, I arrived home safely without any boogers getting after me.  I'm  not sure of the distance.  I'll have to clock it next time I go out. 

I didn't really want to walk again tonight.  My work schedule for Mondays is 11a to 11p.  I for dang sure wasn't going to wait until 11p to do it, so I took my dinner break about 8:50, and committed myself to taking another walk.  (Since I work from home, I can be a little flexible with my schedule.)  This time I walked up the street in the direction of DJ's house FIRST, so that I'd be sure to be out of Spookville before dark.  Today I could feel a tiny little burn in my calves and in my groin and hip muscles.  It wasn't quite as effortless as it was yesterday.  Makes me dread tomorrow. 

I've been released to exercise at the gym, so I need to call the Wellness Center and get them to fax over the paperwork to my surgeon.  Once he fills it out, then I'm good for a complimentary two-month membership.  I doubt I'll go very often, but I think it will be good to work with someone for a while to get some ideas on how best to work this tattered, neglected body to get the maximum impact.  Impact.  Probably not the word I'm looking for.  Ugh. 

My tightness issues seem to be better today.  I e-mailed my food list and a list of questions in preparation for my appointment on Friday.  My anxiety level about the issue has come down a notch or two, which is a Very Good Thing.  Maybe by the end of the week I'll be settled down enough to believe him when he tells me everything is okay. 

At any rate, I've made The Walk for two nights in a row, and for me, that's a Really Big Thing.  I hope it becomes a habit soon.  Maybe I'll treat myself to a pedometer.  That would be a nice thing to do for myself, doncha think?

 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thanks for the DNA, Daddy Bill!

Daddy Bill was my grandpa.  Probably the most impatient human being ever to walk the face of the earth.  Seriously.  It was just something we learned to live with, and loved him in spite of it.  Funny thing about DNA.  Well, actually, I don't know that much about it.  (I know what it stands for... really I do!!)  But back to the funny thing.  Sometimes, at the moment of conception, the DNA pool is kind to us, and at other times, some of the sludge from the bottom of the pool floats up to the top and is grabbed along with, hopefully, lots of the good.  My daddy is probably one of the most patient men who ever lived.  My mom didn't get too much of a terrible amount Daddy Bill's "impatient" DNA molecules, though I have seen evidence of them from time to time.  How incredible, then, that when I was conceived, those ugly rascals floated to the top of the pool, and grabbed onto my own personal ladder and hung on for dear life.  For the most part, they are somewhat controlled, but, more often than I'd like to admit, they come out screaming.  (Sometimes literally!!!)  I want some new cabinets for my crafting space.  I have the money to buy them, but because of it taking me a while to build up my productivity after surgery, I'm a little afraid to spend the money just yet.  But I want them N.O.W.   When I decide I need a haircut, I need it N.O.W.  Which is why I must use a walk-in hair salon instead of my favorite hair stylist, who works by appointment only.  When I want Whitney to do a particular chore or deed, I want it done N.O.W.  Or when I'm ready for the grass to be cut....  are we seeing a pattern here???  Thanks a lot, Daddy Bill!!!  I never knew your daddy or your granddaddy, but thanks a lot to them too.  Come to think of it, your mama was fairly impatient too. 

All that being said, perhaps you'll understand that I am literally about to spontaneously combust at the thought of not having an appointment with my surgeon until this Friday.  I had the upper GI this past Friday, and now won't see my doctor for a week.  That's pretty ridiculous, IMO.  I've worked in health care for 30+ years, quite a few of those years being in physicians' offices, and when patients are having problems, you work them in.  I was able to talk to the nurse Friday afternoon, and I am to call her back tomorrow and give her a report about how things have gone over the weekend.  Hopefully I'll remember to have her ask him if he will look at the films (and not just the dictated report) so that he can answer some questions for me.  The radiologist said there does not appear to be a band slippage, which was my immediate concern.  That would pretty much guarantee surgery.  So if there's no slippage, then I'm really hoping Dr. M. will be able to view the fluoroscopic part of the study and give me his take on things.  I'm fighting a little battle with discouragement, because I need an answer, and I need a resolution. (N.O.W)  I can't live forever on protein drinks and pureed chicken casserole, no matter how delicious it is.  I don't want to fear every bite (no matter how tiny) I put into my mouth will cause severe discomfort a few seconds after I swallow it.  I want to be like the tens of thousands of band patients who live a normal life after surgery, and are able to eat regular food.  I don't want to worry about having more surgery, having the band removed, gaining the weight back (yay 41 lbs as of today!).

I'm in limbo.  And I'm just so impatient.  Darn those DNA molecules!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

If You Can't Eat The Salsa, You Might As Well Dance It

That's what my co-worker JoAnn said when I told her that I was contemplating taking a salsa basics class last night.  That was the perfect line for the kind of week I'm having!  Ha! 

Our WLS support group meeting was last night, and though it was sparse in attendance, the four of us had a really good meeting.  Deb was able to attend her first meeting since surgery, and she looks fabulous!!  We all shared war stories... the victories and the days that didn't seem so victorious.  It is good to have other bandsters with whom to compare notes and share experiences. 

Afterwards, Maria and I set off for downtown, to the local club scene.  I love downtown Athens on a warm summer night, and I was fortunate enough to get a great parking spot on the same block as the club.  Not many folks inside at first, but pretty soon there was a goodly number of folks on the dance floor.  And thus began the lesson!!  It was easier than I thought.  But, uh oh, it got more difficult pretty quick.  I think there were eight or ten "moves" he taught us to build on the basic steps.  I lasted for about six of them, then it all started going to mush in my brain, so I sat out and watched.  I think I could totally rock it, though, with some practice!  They do that every Wednesday night, and Maria and I are thinking about going again.  Doesn't hurt that the instructor is a hottie and a dream to *dance* with!!  Next time I think I'll forego the flip-flops.  Makes it really hard to do that Puerta move.  Dancin' With The Stars.... look OUT!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Love This Quote


When hunger is not the problem, eating is not the answer. 

My new favorite quote.  I've already forgotten where I found it.  Either on Facebook, or perhaps one of the blogs I follow.  I just found it tonight.  Can't believe I already forgot where I saw it.  Just a little fog about the brain, that's all.

Still tight tonight.  Whitney cooks up a mean meatloaf, and tonight was Meatloaf Night. So I had a little bit.  A very little bit... but what I was able to swallow was mighty fine!  It's so strange... something extra crunchy like Pretzel Thins will go down with no discomfort at all.  I think I might be obessessing about it a little bit, thereby making the situation worse than it really is.  I hope that's the case.  I know Friday can't get here soon enough for the upper GI!  In the meantime, delicious chocolate protein drinks will be the mainstay of my sustenance.  Well, at least until I get brave enough, or feel deprived enough to try something else.  Then when it is difficult to swallow, I'll come back here and whine about it some more.

Note to well-meaning friends:  Unless you have a band inside your own personal tummy, and can identify with the discomfort I'm speaking of, these whiney posts aren't intended to solicit advice, so just read... and think your thoughts... and come back tomorrow or the next day and maybe all will be happy and well in band-land again.  (How's that for politely asking you not to tell me "just don't eat anything" or "stop obssessing about it"???)

If, however, you are a reader with a band in your own personal tummy, then I would be delighted to hear your thoughts!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fire In The Hole!!!

Well, not really, but I always thought it would be cool to say that. More accurately, it's "Air In The Band!" That was my verdict today at my postop appointment. 5 cc of air was in the band that shouldn't have been there. I asked him how it got there, and he said it was his fault, that it would have happened when he hooked the tubing together. Well, I could just kiss him!!! It's that 5 cc of air that probably kept me out of Bandster Hell, and now I'm terrified that I'll descend into the depths of it. So far so good, though, because since being home I tried some more Greek yogurt, and still can't eat it. That gives me reason to worry, though, that something is wrong somewhere. He's having me get an upper GI on Friday to check out how things look in there. So I guess until then I'll just try not to worry about something being wrong. Seems like I still won't be able to eat very much, which is a good thing, but it would be nice not to experience discomfort when I do eat. Maybe I'll just stick with my protein drinks. They seem to go down okay, and keep me pretty full. The tornadoes in my throat and clogged-drain gurgle sounds are still there.

Mom went with me to the appointment today, and I enjoyed a nice visit with her. She had never met Dr. M. before, and I wanted her to. :-) He and Janet seemed pleased with my measurement stats... 34" lost!!! Yay!! Sticking the needle in wasn't as bad as I expected. At one point he said "Push like you are having a baby". Those were shocking words!!!! The thought of delivering a baby was such a horrid thought that I think he could have amputated my leg without anesthesia and I wouldn't have felt it. I was too busy thanking God that my baby-deliverin' days are OVER!!! I love babies, but... not coming out of MY body!!! For more reasons than you can count!!!

I suppose everything else looked well, as he didn't indicate any concerns. Bottom line is, I've lost 20 lbs since surgery, (40 in all!) I'm not hungry, and I'm feeling good. So unless the upper GI shows evidence of trouble, I'm going to take it for a successful postop visit. :-)

And though there still is so very far to go, here's a few head shots to show how far I've come already.

#1 Taken at my highest weight

#2 Preop on April 29, 2010


#3 First postop visit 6-14-2010

Very strange.  I had lost 20 lbs between pictures #1 and #2, but you couldn't even tell.  Then one day it was like I woke up and overnight I could start to tell a difference in how my clothes fit, being able to cross my legs, reach my toes, and I could begin to see a tiny change in the mirror as well.  What fun!!! 

Thanks for reading and thanks for your prayers!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

40 lb Gone, And I Have Butt Bones!

Since being overweight, I've pretty much had my own built-in padding whenever I sit.  Though not a huge fan of hard chairs or concrete bleachers, I always had it better than those skinny girls.  (What can I say, I'm a glass-half-full girl!)  I've been noticing some inches falling away, and while I still have P-L-E-N-T-Y of inches left to disappear, it's beginning to make a difference.  Not only can I cross my legs, last night when I sat down for a nice, hot bath after a day of labor-intensive chores around the house, I noticed that I could feel my butt bones when I sat down in the bathtub!!  Oh my!!!  What a great non-scale victory (NSV)!!!!! 

But speaking of scale victories, today I reached another one!  40 lb gone!  Woo Hoo!!!  I have my postop appointment tomorrow, and I'm scheduled for my first fill.  However, I'm not at all sure that I need a fill.  I'm still losing, I'm not hungry between meals, and I'm having a little trouble occasionally getting things to go down.  I'm sure it is more of Operator Error (me!) than anything.  I think I need a refresher course on bite and sip-size.  Probably my bites and my sips are too big, and whatever it is that I'm trying to swallow just hits the banded area, and doesn't want to go down without a fair amount of discomfort.  I'm one of the REALLY lucky ones...  seems like I have my "restriction" before even getting a fill, instead of suffering in Bandster Hell with most early-postop patients. 

Anyhoo... tomorrow is a big day, going to see the surgeon and see how he thinks I'm doing.  If I don't forget, I'm going to take my measurements (scary.....) tonight so that I can show him my progress in that regard.  I'm kind of anxious my ownself to see the numbers.

Butt I knew you'd be interested in hearing about my butt-bones, and would help me celebrate 40 lb gone!!!  Yay!!! 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another Day in Paradise

Well, no, not really.  I'm just trying to re-define "paradise" from the satisfying feeling I used to get from being really full (over-stuffed), to the feeling of being full and satisfied on 4-5 oz of food per meal.  How's that workin for me?  Pretty doggone well, apparently.  After years and years of obssessing about food, being "not hungry", is a whole new picture of paradise!  I read in the forums that about 1/3  to 1/2 of those who had surgery in May are struggling with what we call "bandster hell".  The band is actually a tube-like thingy, that sits at the bottom of the pouch (see illustration on sidebar).  Most surgeons don't put anything in the band at the time of surgery, because postoperative swelling is going to cause a good bit of restriction at the site anyway, so they don't want to run the risk of too MUCH restriction.  I was told by the patients I have met, and I've read on the forums, that after about two weeks postop, the swelling from surgery goes down, and then you are left with no restriction, the appetite returns, and you feel like you want to eat the same way you did before surgery.  Yet, our surgeons warn us not to do this.. because there will indeed be some restriction, even though we might not feel it.  If we revert back to eating 16 oz steaks, 3 lb baked potatoes, etc, we will stretch out the pouch, thus severely limiting the effectiveness of the surgery. Most surgeons wait several weeks to months before the first fill.  (A fill is where saline is injected into the band [via a port placed near the surface of the skin in the abdomen] in incremental amounts, until the "sweet spot" or "restriction" is obtained.)  This usually takes several fills, as only a small amount is injected each time.  So theoretically, a patient can spend months in bandster hell.) I have been VERY happy to have avoided the BH so far.  I'm fully aware that it could happen tomorrow.  I'm seriously thanking God for this, because I am a very weak person when it comes to denying myself something to eat, and can rationalize the heck out of eating half a pizza all by myself, or an entire box of Oreos.  I am amazed that it has been five weeks since surgery and I have not been hungry.... not even ONCE!  Oh, yes, there have been times when I have mentally wanted something to eat, and my mouth, teeth, and tongue have suffered the great loss of the sensation of chewing and swallowing huge bites of food, then feeling the joy of that big hunk of food sliding down my throat.  Most definitely, I have longed for that blissful feeling.  And if not for the band around my stomach, I can guarantee you that by now, I would have done it already.  Maybe you remember my post about getting really angry because I couldn't eat.  Yeah, I was ready to have a foot-stompin, fit-throwing temper tantrum.  Until my epiphany. The journey is as much psychological as it is physical.  Sometimes even more so.  At any rate, I'm just happy as a lark here in the land of  Bandster Paradise, where everything seems to be working just as it should be.  I feel badly for others who are going through BH right now, and hope everyone remains strong and stays the course. I know it could happen to me at any time.  I have read that the band is a fickle little guy, and what is true today sometimes isn't so true tomorrow.  Thus the reason for being so ecstatic about another day in Paradise!! 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Salad!!!

My friend Paul T. and I laugh about the silly things that people put on Facebook. (Who cares what someone had for lunch, or that they are going to Publix after work, or bought a book of Elvis stamps...)

I remember when I first heard about Twitter, my thoughts were... Who on the face of the earth could possibly care about what I might be doing at any point in the day? However, when Whitney and her family went to the beach, I signed up for a Twitter account, thinking I could keep up with my grandkids' first trip to the ocean, if Whitney tweeted about their trip. Smart phones make connecting with friends an easy task, and I thought she might be more inclined to do that than send e-mails. Nada. With no news from the vacationing grandchildren, I quickly became bored with it. Not to mention all the strange people who wanted to "follow" me. Seriously? I think I still have the Twitter account, but I forgot my password.

Anyway, Facebook, for some people, has become the same kind of tool. Oh, I've posted my share of goofy statuses too, most of which are always unworthy of a comment. (Ignored) I'm not one of the Facebook "Stars" with thousands of friends fawning at my every post, with 50 comments after each one. Probably half of my posts never get comments at all, and who knows, maybe my FB friends just glance right over them. After all, what young college student would possibly be interested in my pillow talk with the grandchildren? (Well, Kate would be that exception, but that's because she loves my grandchildren...). Anyway, my point here is that a lot of the postings on FB are pretty silly, and sometimes I'm like... "huh?"

Today, I wanted to share some exciting news. And since my blog is networked to FB, it will show up on FB, where I am certain that all 201 of my FB friends will be reading my blog and posting their congratulations on this momentous occasion.

Paul, this is HUGE. I had a salad for lunch!!!!



Actually, Paul will understand why this is a big deal. This is my first salad in weeks, and weeks, since well before my surgery. I can only have pea-sized bites of whatever it is that I'm eating, so I painstakingly sliced up baby spinach leaves, a small sliver of cucumber, some green onion, a boiled egg, and some pre-cooked misquite chicken tenders into confetti-sized pieces, and grated a tiny bit of cheese on top. Oh, yeah. This was a very intensive labor of love. Love for salads. I really wanted/needed for this venture to be successful. When introducing a new food back into my diet is UNsuccessful, I tend to never want to see that food ever again. I sure didn't want that to happen with salads!!! And I am so thankful to say that it went down fine, even though it took me about 45 minutes to eat 1/2 cup of my confetti salad. Which is about right for a lap-band patient. I am so thankful for my delicious lunch. And I knew all my blogger and FB would want to know about it too. I might even tweet about it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Thighs

It's nearly impossible to sit cross-legged with thighs measuring 26" and 28".  (Wonder how come one is 2" bigger than the other one?)  For years, the only way I have been able to sit with my legs crossed is if there's something in front of me to "hold" my foot in place.  Like the back of the church pew in front of me, or the back of someone's chair, etc.  It has been a challenge all these years to strategically place myself where I can have something to support these short, fat legs of mine.  My feet barely reach the floor in most standard chairs, so it's nice to have a chair in front of me on which to rest my feet, even if  I don't want to cross my legs.  But that was the case even before I got fat.  Needless to say, I avoided the front row seat anywhere I might be sitting, for both those reasons.

Anyway, as I've noted before, the numbers on the scales have slowed a bit in their downward trend, but I am noticing a difference in my clothing, and in my measurements.  Today I was going outside to do some chores, and slipped on my old faithful stretchy/biker-type shorts.  Normally they hug my legs closely, not quite Spandex-style, but pretty dang close.  (I wear a long baggy t-shirt over the shorts so as not to scare away the neighbors and forest animals.)   Whoa!  Today as I was preparing to go outside, i happened to glance in the mirror, and my close-fitting, almost Spandex-like shorts were gaping open at the leg!!  Not only were they not hugging my skin, they were gaping open!!!  A closer look in the mirror revealed that the shorts were actually loose.... all over!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  So, I decided to measure.  To my amazement, I had lost 2" from my left thigh, and 3" from my right thigh!!!  Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!!!

A Funky Thing

Today is the four-week anniversary of my band surgery!!  I can officially graduate to regular food now.  Except that I can't.  True to my impatient nature, I started graduating a few days ago.  At Corey's birthday party I had a few tiny bites of this and a few tiny bites of that.  Nothing particularly bad (well, except for the trifle ... that doesn't seem to be anywhere on my list of *allowed* foods... but it SHOULD be ... it's so smooth and creamy ).  Sunday morning I felt a little tight, and it sorta hurt when I swallowed my coffee.  I tried a couple of bites of food throughout the day and it didn't go so well.  Later that evening I tried one last time to eat a bite of refried beans.  Not. Happening. It hurt really bad in my chest, and I knew what was coming.  Had my first upchuck ... that bite of refried beans refused to go down.  Funny thing about swallowing food.  If it won't go down, it's comin' back up.   So yesterday I just sipped my coffee and my Crystal Lite all day, and late in the afternoon decided to try a protein drink.  Success!  Yay!  Today I still felt pretty tight, so while I was in town I went by Dr. M's office (to weigh) and spoke with Janet about my issue.  She reassured me that I wasn't destined for a date with a gastroscope, and told me I had done the right thing by going back to liquids.  I told her that I had cheated and gone to solids three days sooner than allowed.  I'm sure that's not shocking news to her; I'm sure most patients do it.  She said that I had probably irritated the banded area and it should resolve in a day or two.  That was such a relief - I was really glad I went by to see her.  Some of the posters on lapbandtalk.com suggested I try some chewable papaya enzyme tablets.  I picked some up at the GNC in the mall and also picked up some protein supplement powder.  Dropped a load of cash on that stuff! 

Hey whoever said this was the chicken's way out, or that WLS is for losers (not the pun), or the easy way out..  I'd like to punch them a good one.  It still requires planning, discipline, and did I say planning?  Definitely not a strong point for me.  Oh, I can plan a party, can plan the story line of my book, I can plan my vacation or the order of my chores... but I seriously hate planning meals and exercise.  My lap band buddy is a huge part of the big picture, but without the other pieces of the puzzle, it is yet another  futile attempt to lose weight.  So, the first item on my personal to-do list is to get my act together and decide what I'm going to eat, and when I'm going to work out.

And that's the way it is on day 28!
~CathyB