Sunday, August 30, 2009

One month since surgery

Today marks one month since I was banded. Claire (my band) and I are making fast friends. :)

Claire is there for me, to tell me when enough is enough and I know over time I will learn to trust her more.

I have had a easy recovery and feel lucky to have this opportunity to improve my health.

No Regrets!
Thursday I got the all clear to start riding my horse again. I am a little nervous about it but I think I will try to get a few good rides in before the days (light) get any shorter.
I attended my company picnic yesterday and played volleyball, felt fine. The adults took over the kids slip & slide at one point in the afternoon but I didn't feel like I was ready to dive belly first......yet! However, there is always next year. This was also my first social setting with food involved. I'm happy to report it was fine. I had some watermelon, a bunless hot dog and a small serving of chili beans.
Everyone at my work knows about the band. I didn't plan it that way at all. It sort of snowballed out of my control. I work for a construction company. I am one of two women who work there. The boys (That is what I call our guys) have asked me how it is going and shown a great interest in the process. My boss is a huge support and although he gets a little squeamish when I go into too much detail....he has given me the time off needed and has recently nicknamed me slim. That kinda cracks me up. With none of my support people living nearby it has been nice to know that there are others cheering you on. Now that it is out in the open I can't imagine how hard it would have been to keep it a secret.
again.... NO REGRETS!
Thank you (((Cara))) hugs to you for the anniversary wish!

This is a quick Sunday evening post. Work will come early tomorrow and I am starting an hour earlier than usual this next week. ugh!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Fill 4cc's

Just got back from my first fill and I must say... It was not that uncomfortable at all. I was washed with betadine, then numbed up (tiny sting, nothing bad) then the fill needle...which I didn't feel at all other than some pressure.

I received 4cc's in my 10cc realize band and I am scheduled for another (smaller) fill in 10 days.

I took a picture of the process...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Fill Tomorrow

I am having my first fill tomorrow! This will be at four weeks post-op. I have been holding steady at 31 lbs. lost from my weight 2 weeks pre-op. I have been on solids for two weeks and am starting to feel hunger more and more each day :/ Hoping the fill will help a little bit with that but I realize it is early.
I also hope to get baseline tests ordered tomorrow so I can see my progress with lowering my LDL over the next few months.
This past weekend was a struggle, the first real struggle since being banded. I got 100% off schedule, slept most of Saturday, didn't drink enough water and ate randomly! Ugghh! To top it all off I woke up Sunday with a raging UTI so, off to the ER...and then the hunt for liquid medicine!
Doing much better today!
I am heading off to school clothes shop with my son...I will post after my fill tomorrow

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Three weeks post-op

Today marks three weeks post-op and I believe I have 100% of my energy back (and perhaps a wee bit more) The huge turn around point was that I was allowed to resume real food (with the exception of steak) at two weeks. I was surprised about this as all my notes and classes went over the phases of eating and I went to the check up just begging for permission to eat an egg and is all I wanted during my liquids phase. I was not looking forward to the mushies because there were not very many options that sounded good at all. My Dr. said that the Realize band is not primed at all when it is implanted so after the first couple weeks you can start trying solids, keeping portions small of course. On my way back to work I picked up a small KFC mashed potatoes w/ gravy and it sucked! Things tasted different, sweeter, more salty the first couple days. I was glad to be off the room temperature shakes... I am done with them, the end. period. except before and after fills. My date for a first fill is next Thursday! I am looking forward to getting started with the restriction.
so far some of the things I have tried are:
white fish - talliapa 4-5oz
Ahi 4oz
Tuna salad w/ added black & kidney beans 1/2 cup, no bread
salmon 4 oz
avocado 1/2
salad 1 c
Turkey tacos that I used lettuce to wrap up 3/4 c meat
chicken breast - maybe half of a side breast
eggs w/ cottage cheese 2 eggs max
pinto beans, 1 c
oatmeal, 1/2 c raw - about 1 c cooked sometimes with a little honey or a snack pack of raw almonds and once w/ a tablespoon of peanut butter.
peaches - 3-4 slices canned
tried Greek style....YUCK
and a chicken ranch salad from taco bell which I have been sorry about for the last 4 hours. Claire (my band) is not a taco bell fan!
I have created somewhat of a system that seems to work for now (okay, it has only been a week...) I keep a little notebook that I write everything I consume in a day in + vitamins and water. keeps me accountable so far :) I did not write the one small bag, not king sized bag, of m&m's that I ate over a three day spread. oversight really!
I have held steady at a 21lbs loss pre-op and then 10-12 lb loss post-op (mostly the first 4 days) Not gaining and I have no restriction so it is all will power for now. Will power and no carbs prolly!

The thing I miss so far in this journey....caffeine! I've been told I can try it now, get my coffee buzz on but to be warned it could stimulate hunger so I have been avoiding (mostly) I do love me a Dutch Bros. milky way...the FF/SF version I dunno, not quite the same.

Thank you again for all the strength and education I gained from reading all your blogs!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How I came to blog...

I just thought I would take a second to explain how I was introduced to the whole blogging process. (and to give Kudos to M.W.)

I believe it was about 2003 and I had been in Oregon just a little over a year. We had moved my three teenagers :/ and left the Bay Area, CA where we had lived forever....I left my family, friends and everything familiar behind to get my kids to a safer place...clean air...wide open space.

I felt very disconnected and lonely. I was not working, hubby is retired so we were both home full time. My kids acted up a bit as a result of the was just a stressful time of change (not unlike now)

Well, it was hard to find little things to hold onto to that made me happy...But I started watching a tv program that was airing on WE tv (Woman's network) It was called McLeod's Daughters and was an Australian drama. I fell in love....I found something in that show (please...I know it is hard to understand and it sounds crazy.....but it sort of saved me and I was able to escape for an hour a week)
The show was filmed on location in South Australia and in a nutshell was about a few strong women who run a farm...and yes, there were a few hunky men in the mix as well. I knew the moment I watched that I MUST GO THERE! I have this desire so strong that I can't even put it into words...I WILL GO THERE...I want to smell the air and touch the dirt and connect with the land in SA more than I have ever wanted anything....perhaps as much as wanting to be healthy!
So, fast forward three seasons of McLeod's daughters...and to my disbelief one of the main actors is killed on the program (can we say major funk!) Not only that....we soon learn that the WE network will no longer be airing the series here in the US!
This news created quite a stir on the WE message boards....there was begging and pleading by other crazy people like me :) to continue the the end they didn't BUT one of those people who were on the boards created a blog about McLeod's Daughters and our loss of not only the show but the main actress (Lisa Chappell) who played Claire McLeod. The site was called even after claire. (no longer exists)
There were so many great people who visited that site for one common reason (not unlike WLS) but in the end we all supported each other on many different issues...It was a feeling of community that I was missing.
The website owner was (still is) a most brilliant blogger and one of the most artistic people I know. She inspired me to start my own site to communicate with friends and family and to write about the move to Oregon. I am sort of hit and miss on the site now as I have made new friends, work now and the kids have eased up some with the drama. I have not decided if I will abandon it completely for my new journey or not ....
if you find yourself with a moment feel free to check it out at

I am so happy to have known in advance of this WLS that I would be able to find an online community that would be helpful, supportive and so very inspiring. You all do not disappoint!
I hope I can do the same in the future as I progress in this journey!

PS - I think I just named my band - Claire

we should make a facebook name generator for lapbands lol -

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Please welcome a new bandsister!

Hello all my peeps,
If you find yourself with a minute or two could you please send a note to a new blogger You guys are all the best and I would love for her to find the same support as I have :)


Monday, August 3, 2009

My surgery story....the good, the bad and the ugly!

I can't believe I have not posted this yet!

I am a week post-op and I am feeling great! I returned to work five days post-op (have a desk job...not too stressful) I think the hardest part of the whole thing was getting comfortable in my own bed. I have had to make a nest of pillows and rolled up blankets to get to sleep with any comfort.

Morning of the surgery was not too smooth. Hubby and I arrived and I was taken back and they had quite a time finding a vein for my IV. After several attempts they gave up and asked them to do so in the OR.

I was taken to the OR and was wide awake with no calming drugs on board yet. My past operations I only remember a glimpse of the OR....seems like 5 seconds after I arrived I was put out. This time however I was very alert as they were trying to get the IV going...I felt the fear building and building and started crying...this is my stress response (well that and eating, lol) I was looking around the room...I was familiar some as I have some medical training (years ago, EMT, ER Tech, OR Tech and pre-nursing) anyway, I didn't hear any music I jokingly requested some Jimmy Buffett! Not two minutes later it was playing, I relaxed some and the IV site ended up being in my neck which freaked me out a bit but once it was in I was breathing the gas and gave a thumbs I went!

I woke up in recovery very alert, I felt the breathing tube coming out (didn't hurt) just felt strange. I was taken to my room where I slept some, My mom, hubby and daughter were there. I have to say I had very little pain. I was started on water 15ml every15 min then it increased to 30ml then I had to use the restroom..getting up was a bit tender but the bed there helps and they put a hand hook overhead to help move the next morning I had been walking about, using the restroom on my own and I graduated to jello (room temp. yuck) broth and more water.

I was visited by the surgeon the next morning and he shared with me that my heart had stopped for 5 seconds when the retractor touched the Vagus nerve???on the liver. He said it was common for heart rates to drop, but I guess to stop...not so much! Good news is it started up again all on its own and I guess all was okay from there.

I went home on Friday, the next morning, ride home was not to uncomfortable. I slept some, walked some, sipped water and protein drinks throughout the next couple days... I then added some creamed soups with protein powder once a day....and all has been great.

I can say that I feel very very tired! Today was the worst for that...but I am sure it is from the lack of calories as I figure at most I am getting 400 a day + 50-60 oz of water.

I have another week at this stage of full liquid's....I am so looking forward to an egg!

Stats so far: Pre-op two week liquids phase I lost 21.4 lbs and as of today it is 26lbs lost!

Thank you to all who have been through it and have blogged about it. It made it so much easier with the extra knowledge going in :) and those who have not done so yet, I really had an easy go of it (pain wise) the mental part might take a while! You will do just fine!