December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and thank you all for stopping by my blog to see how I'm doing.

I know I've been quiet the last couple of days. Things have been busy here at home getting ready for the big day tomorrow. I have also gotten all of my energy back and find myself ready to get moving more so I can lose more weight. The immediate weight loss has been motivating. Unfortunately this week things have slowed down alot. I haven't lost anything yet this week. Instead my hunger has gotten stronger and I'm finding it is taking more food to fill me up. I'm looking forward to my first fill so I can have the kind of restriction I had last week. It felt really good getting full quickly and seeing the pounds coming off almost daily.

I am so sick and tired of soft, slimy, clear foods. I want something to chew on - big time! I still have a very strong craving for Pizza. One thing I have noticed with all these full liquids is that my teeth feel dirtier than normal. At the end of the day I feel like I have a slime on them. I wonder if the chewing of "normal" food cleans your teeth for you throughout the day? I know they say that dry dog and cat food help dogs and cats keep their teeth clean. It must be the same for humans.

It's 10pm on Christmas Eve and I'm going to bed. We just arrived home from Christmas at my in-laws house. I received a new pair of jeans today. They were TWO sizes smaller than what I was wearing and they fit great! It was a really nice feeling. Especially since I've been wearing jeans that have been too big for me for the past couple of months. I had to wear a belt with them or they would fall down as I walked. Time to pass on these old jeans to someone else so I never have to worry about fitting in that size again. :)

Merry Christmas to all and I hope everyone has a Magical 2009!

December 20, 2008

Before Photos

I thought I'd upload a few photos of me from the past year. Some were from Fall 2007 and the others from 2008. I plan on uploading monthly photos throught the 2009 year.

Relaxed photo - then trying to "suck" it in.

Hanging out at the Hilton in Burlington waiting for the Fireworks, July 3, 2008

Fall 2007 Apple Picking

July 2008 at the top of Mt. Washington, NH

December 19, 2008

Heartburn, Hungry or Full?

Is it Heartburn, am I Hungry or am I full? Those are the three questions I keep asking myself. For the past year I have had problems with heart burn and was talking Prilosec OTC daily for it. In September there was a medical report that came out saying that Prilosec was causing low calcium levels in individuals and some people's bones were breaking easily. So I discontinued using the medication. Since then, I only experienced a very low level of heartburn once or twice a week. Nothing for me to even take a tums for. It would come and go away just as quickly.
Immediately after the surgery I started feeling heartburn again. I wasn't really sure at the time if it was heartburn or if it was just gas pain or another pain from the surgery. I now know it was heartburn as I'm still having it on a regular basis. I get it when I lay down and sit up. When I eat or drink anything. Sometimes I'll get it when I'm even just walking around the house. I had been taking Rolaids but they weren't helping at all. I called the doctor's office this afternoon and they prescribed me Prevacid. So today I took my first dose. We're hoping this helps - if not, there may be more going on. I have read on some of the lap band message boards that some people experience heartburn when they have been overfilled. Since I don't have a fill in yet, taking some fluid out won't help me. My doctor did say tell my husband that I my lap band is like putting on a 40" belt on a 44" waist. So it's pretty snug. The only other thing I have read is that some people will start having heartburn if their band slips. I don't think that has happened. I just think my stomach is getting use to this band wrapped around it. We'll see in a couple of days. I'll give the doctor's office a call either way on Monday to talk to them about it more and give them an update as to how the Prevacid is working.
The other issue I've been dealing with today and part of yesterday is whether or not I'm really hungry or if I'm full. After eating a small yogurt for supper tonight, I started feeling really full. You know the feeling you get after eating a big Thanksgiving Turkey dinner with all the fixins'? The one where you need to loosen your pants and it's hard to breathe? Well that is the way I was feeling tonight after the yogurt and last night after the 1/2 cup of tomato soup. The weird thing is that my stomach is still growling. After feeling so full, why would my stomach growl? That's a question I'll be asking my doctor on Monday also. Maybe it's normal. It really is interesting to watch all these changes going on. I feel like a child on the first day of school asking easy questions that someday I'll look back on and laugh about.
Anyone want a scale update? On day 1 of my 10 day pre-op diet, I weighed in at 262. Today when I stood on the scale, I weighed 250. That is 12 pounds lost in 14 days. I hear this is pretty common for pre and post op diets and I know it will slow down when I start getting "normal" food into my diet. But I will enjoy this ride while I'm on it.

December 18, 2008

Day 4 of Post Op

Today is my fourth day of post-op ( or is it day 3?). I am finally able to stay awake longer than 20 minutes. Yesterday I spent the whole day in bed. I was concerned that I wouldn't end up sleeping through the night but I did - the whole night. This morning I woke up, took a shower and then came downstairs. I'm feeling alot better. I've actually been awake for the past 6 hours. I haven't taken any pain killers and have stuck with taking my children's liquid Motrin instead. I ate some jello for breakfast and then ventured onto my first protein shake since the surgery. Going from clear liquids to full liquids is exciting. I feel like I may finally get to the point where I can eat "normal" food. I am so craving a slice of toast right now. I never realized how I took something like a slice of toast for granted before.
I haven't been very hungry but I'm also still trying to figure out what all the feelings are that I have in my tummy. Is it gas? hunger? heartburn? It feels like heartburn that turns into a hiccup. I also still have gas pains in my left shouldar and neck occassionally.
So far I'm down four pounds this week (since Monday).

December 16, 2008

Officially a Post-Oper

I'm now officially a post oper. I just got home from the hospital. I'm feeling pretty tired and dealing with the gas and what I think is heartburn. The doc at the hospital told me to take some tums when I got home so that is what I just did. I have been burping and it feels really good afterwards. All I've had to eat or drink since surgery is 1 cup of cranberry juice and a jello cup.
After following the pre-op diet perfectly, Dr. F said that my liver didn't shrink at all. He was actually about ready to cancel the band when he decided to give it one more try. Lucky for me he got it on. I would have been so devasted to wake up and not have the band on. Especially after following all the rules and doing exactly what I was suppose to. I was a little nervous that something might be wrong with my liver since it didn't shrink but the doctor I talked to today said to wait until I lose some weight and then they can check my liver again to see how big it is. If it's still big after I lose weight, there could be something wrong. He didn't think that was likely though.
The nursing staff at the hospital was wonderful. I just wish they didn't put us non-eaters in the same room with those who can eat. It was really hard smelling my roommates meals. Especially when all she did was talk about how great it was - with each bite. :(
I'm heading to bed to get some sleep. I'll blog more later about how I'm feeling and what my next steps are.

December 13, 2008

One Week on Liquid Diet

Today is my one week anniversary on my pre-op liquid diet. Most of this week wasn't a problem. Last night I went upstairs to watch tv in bed before bedtime. Then I started to smell something so wonderful that I felt like a cartoon character being lifted off the ground, floating through the air with my nose being led by a long string of clouds leading me to what was causing that smell. It was my husband, he was baking a pizza in the oven. How dare he cook a pizza when I am on liquids? I hadn't really started craving anything too strong (except for the DD Bagel from the commerical I had seen earlier in the week) until I started to smell the pizza. I gave him an ugly look, shared a few words with him and went back upstairs to watch tv. After about 2 minutes of smelling the pizza, I decided to turn off the light, the tv and go to sleep hoping the smell wouldn't keep me awake.

This morning I talked to my husband about last night and he apologized. My daughter had told him that I had gone to bed so he thought it was "safe" to cook up a pizza. Granted, it was 10 o'clock at night. He had thought that I was already asleep.

Today we went to the mall to finish up our Christmas shopping. I wasn't sure about going as I knew that I wouldn't be able to eat anything there if we stayed through a meal time. I packed myself a couple of yogurts incase I got hungry. After reviewing the restaurants I figured that I could always get a bowl of chicken noodle soup at Subway and just slurp on the broth or eat at Applebees and enjoy a bowl of their Weight Watchers French Onion Soup. We decided to sit down and eat at Applebees. I ordered the soup without the bread and cheese on top. So I slurped beef broth with onions. I know the onions aren't on my list of foods I can eat pre-op but I ate them anyways hoping they wouldn't hurt too much.

Tonight I enjoyed another Campbells V8 Soup - the Sweet Red Pepper. Yummy! This was my first time enjoying this one. I will definately be picking up a few more at the grocery store tomorrow to enjoy post-op.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. It's the day before my surgery. I need to shave my legs, make up some jello for post-op and pack anything I will be bringing with me to the hospital. Plus I want to make sure the house is clean so when I get home on Tuesday, I won't have to worry about cleaning.

December 11, 2008

I'm Hungry

It's day 6 of my pre-op liquid diet and I'm starved. It's probably because I didn't drink my protein shake for lunch today. Instead I had just chicken broth and some sugar free pudding. My family has been eating "normal" meals all week. All day it doesn't bother me that I have to follow this special diet but once the kids get home from school and my teenage daughter starts cooking dinner, the smell makes me crave real food. Today I was watching a commercial for Dunkin Donuts and they showed a bagel and cream cheese. I don't think I've ever craved a bagel with cream cheese before but I definately did today.
I stood on the scale and I've lost two pounds so far this week. In May I joined Weight Watchers with a friend of mine. I weighed in at 282 pounds. The biggest I've ever been. Last week I weighed 259 and this morning I weigh 257. 25 pounds. I know it would have been higher if I didn't go through a tough period this last month. Once I received notification that I was approved for the surgery my mind took over and decided it was time to have a "last supper" every day. This past week, before my pre-op diet, I ate so much junk. For dinner I ate all of my favorite meals - shepard's pie, homemade mac and cheese, chinese buffet plus I ate a twix bar, ben and jerry's ice cream and I hit McDonald's Drive Through. One thing is that I didn't start the pre-op diet feeling deprived or like I am going to miss anything. I feel like I got it all out of the way....for now. I have no doubt that I'll have to battle the cravings for all of those things at one time or another in the future. Armed with my lap band, my willingness to lose this weight and techniques I'm learning along the way to not eat my feelings - I know I will succeed.

December 10, 2008

My New Blog

Welcome to my new blog. I have been thinking for the past month that I should start a blog to journal my lap band journey. I'll be getting my lapband on December 15th. Today I'm on day 5 of my pre-op diet which consists of full liquids (low fat, sugar free). I'm living on sugar free pudding, protein powder mixed with Carnation Instant Breakfast, tomato soup, yogurt and Campbell's V8 creamy soups (blended).
I'm so excited to have my surgery. I applied for the surgery in May 2008 after thinking about it a few months. I had to undergo an upper GI, Physc Evaluation, Nutritional post-op class and lose 5% of my body weight. I did all of it and passed everything with flying colors. This process took from July until October. In October I applied for approval from my insurance company (BCBS FEP) and was approved within two days. After that it has been a long, long waiting game. 4 more days and I start a new chapter in my life.
For the last three hours I've been trying to come up with a name for my blog. I orignally wanted to call it "Out of the Shadows" but it was already taken. This is exactly what I feel like I'm doing - walking out from the shadows. I have let my weight control so much of who I am, what I do and how I feel. I have tried to lose weight in the past and have been successful, unfortunately I always end up gaining it all back plus a few extra pounds. Not this time - this time I'll lose it and keep it off - thanks to the lap band.
I won't lose weight as quick as people who have gastric bypass. It will come off slowly, just like when I was doing Weight Watchers. I am planning on losing 1-2 pounds a week. Some people lose more and some lose less. As long as I see the pounds coming off and they don't return, I'm okay with it. My goal is to look great next September (2009) when a group of my high school friends and myself are renting a house on Lake Champlain.
So what will my blog be about? Just about anything that comes to my mind that day, or moment. I plan on blogging about my lap band journey, successes and struggles I face. Plus from time to time I blog about life and my family (two teenagers and a husband).
Please feel free to subscribe to my blog to follow my journey. If anyone is interested in the lap band and wants more information, please let me know.