P90X-ing my night

by Christine on March 14th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning Revolutionists!

I haven’t updated my blog in about a week! Yikes! Mostly that is because I didn’t have very much to share, but that’s still not an excuse to go AWOL.  Sorry about that! Here’s a little recap of my boring but busy week:

Wednesday after work I went snowshoeing with a friend. We went on a local golf course and walked 9 hilly holes, which took about an hour and a half. It was dark when we got done.  We went out to dinner afterwards and split two appetizers; I had diet sod, some cheese fondue, and some ahi tuna appetizer thing that was delicious. I got home late and fell right asleep.

Thursday I had an appointment with another surgeon at another hospital to discuss options with my port. He highly recommended that I simply re-attach it the way it was always supposed to be, in the same spot, etc.  He gave good reasons why he thought other re-attachment locations would be a bad idea and risky, and I tend to agree with him. I will contact my surgeon this week to schedule a port-reattachment surgery. Man, this has been a long time in coming! Thursday evening we met friends at the local bar for pub trivia. Our team won both at halftime as well as at the end of the night. That meant we got two sets of prizes. We wanted to be good sports, so we gave away one set of prizes to the #2 team.

Friday morning I went to a local event…Global Foundries is building a huge facility in town–it’s the largest commercial building project nation-wide. The meeting was like a Chamber of Commerce event, with 500 people attending, trying to learn how they can get a piece of the work. I met some interesting people while I was there, although I don’t think I met the right people that could potentially give my company work. I must work on my networking skills!

Friday night, after work, we went to a friend’s house to play board games. It was fun, and I got to see some friends I don’t normally get to see. We didn’t get home until about 1 a.m.

Saturday I spent all day writing my book–remember that book I was working on while I was unemployed? Well, I still want to finish it someday, so I spent the day working on it. Then we had dinner with the in-laws, then we met friends for karaoke at a local bar. It was a really packed day, and I was absolutely exhausted by the time we got home.

Sunday we were supposed to go skiing, but I was simply too tired from my hectic schedule. We opted to stay home and sleep in, which was absolutely wonderful and perfect! I spent the day reading the rest of a book on the couch, cleaning the house, and doing some errands around town. I baked some chicken for dinner, with a small side of sauteed vegetables.

Overall, I’ve been eating out at restaurants way too much! I have a fridge full of leftovers that I will never get to. Examples:

  • Thursday I had lunch at a greek restaurant. I had one-third of a salad with gyro meat on top.
  • Thursday night we went to trivia at the local pub. I had chicken tenders (fried) with honey mustard dressing. (don’t worry, I only had three chicken tenders, since they were fried. I did not eat any of my french fries.)
  • Friday I had a garden salad for lunch from a little deli and have TONS of leftovers from it.
  • Friday for dinner I stopped at Paneras for some soup to eat at board game night. John had ordered pizza, which I can’t really eat. Soup was better. I also had some chocolate chip cookies while I was there. BAD!
  • Saturday I had baked fish and a beer at a restaurant while writing my book.
  • Saturday for dinner we went out with the in-laws. I had half a cheeseburger ( no bun) and a small side salad instead of french fries. Hubby ate the other half of my burger.
  • Sunday I skipped lunch and baked a chicken breast for dinner. No eating out!

That’s a LOT of eating out!! It’s expensive, and it’s very hard to control your calories when you do that much outside eating.

My weight is still holding “steady” at three-pounds higher than my goal weight. Not a tragedy, but I’m frustrated that the weight won’t come back down. Surely my dining-out and busy schedule don’t help at all!

At least I got a little bit of exercise in. Last night hubby started P90X, which is a workout video series that is kind of geared towards men.  We did Day 1 of it, and I enjoyed the arm weight strength training. I intend to do Day 2 with the hubby as well and perhaps go hiking or snowshoeing again on Wednesday if the weather holds up!

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Politiking. Is it a word? It should be!

by Christine on March 8th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Today I’m heading down to the New York State Capitol to do some schmoozing with some politicians. I don’t know any politicians, but I’m hoping to meet one or two. Hmmm.

Of course, we’re covered in snow and don’t have any pretty flowers out right now. I wanted to post pictures of flowers because…well, they make me happy!

Weight is still holding steady at 3-pounds-more-than-I-want.  Good thing I’ve been fixated on salads lately. I just need to choose healthy salad choices: grilled chicken. Limit the cheese and croutons!  What is it about honey mustard sauce that I love so much? Why am I fixated on it so much lately? I swear I’ve been living under a rock for the last few years! Isn’t Honey Mustard sauce so 1990s? ha ha!

Healthy choices, Revolutionists!

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Jedi Training. Oh yes I did.

by Christine on March 6th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

I don’t think I’m an official Jedi…yet. But we had our first group training session with light sabers! It was fun!

It wasn’t much of a workout, but it was fun!

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What to do with my dislocated port? More options!

by Christine on March 5th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Yesterday I had a meeting with my gastric banding surgeon, Doctor P. It was a great meeting!

First, I gave him that Thank You card that I made, and I think he liked it. (I think it flustered him a bit!) I am extremely grateful for Doctor P’s help in getting me to a healthy weight for the first time in my life. I tried so hard to lose weight the normal way (aka: eat right, eat less, exercise more) with continual non-success. I really believe I could not have lost the weight if not for the surgery and thus Doctor P’s help. I am very grateful. Very.

Doctor P

Me with Doctor P!

Then I asked Doctor P for a little fill…just a tiny little one. He obliged my request but not without a long lecture about “Maintenance Mode” and the danger of following a number on the scale too closely. Doctor P recommended using the number on the scale as a general guideline: if the number increases, rather than running for a fill every time, I should ask myself, “Why did that number go up?” and then reverse whatever it is that I did.  Still, he gave me less than 0.25 ccs in my band (I apparently have something like 8.5 ccs in my band, for those that care) but man, I sure can feel it! It’s very tight, but it feels good. I will have to remember to chew my food really well for the next few weeks.

Doctor P asked me if I would mind getting in touch with their patient manager, perhaps to be used as a “successful patient” case to show off. I was flattered!  Then his assistant Kim, who is awesome and totally sweet, asked if I would mind coming to a few support group meetings to answer questions and talk a bit about my own experience. I can’t wait to do this!  Again, I was flattered that they would want me to participate.

Lastly, Doctor P and I had a little conversation about my protruding, dislocated port site. (My original post about my port site, from May 2010, is here, with photos.)  For those unfamiliar with the components of the surgery, a description + photos of the port can be found here. The last time we met, Doctor P seemed to recommend taking the port off entirely and putting a plug into the end of the hose. (read about that post here.)  That means that anytime I wanted a fill or unfill, they would actually have to make an incision into my skin in order to find the end of the hose, which would understandably be a big to-do. However, I’m very uncomfortable with that scenario; after all, I went in yesterday for a small fill. I had this HUGE surgery because I liked the idea of having a way to keep my weight in check, forever. I fully intend to use the gastric band in order to maintain my weight, and if you take the port off, that takes away my control over my body, my band’s control over my weight. No, I don’t like that option at all.

Well, Doctor P threw three more options at me. Before I get into it, here are a few photos of the abdominal muscles.

Option 1: Re-attach the port site to the outside of the abdominal wall, as it was supposed to be originally. The good side of this is that it’s the least invasive and probably the easiest surgery to achieve.  The downside is: (1) if the port came off once, it might come off again, and (2) even though the Realize Band has the thinnest port of all the gastric banding brands (it’s nearly twice as thin as the Lap Band port!), it will still be seen under the skin. Doctor P was still concerned about it eroding through my skin, since I don’t have a huge layer of fat under my skin to protect it from popping through.

Option2: Attach the port UNDER my abs. He said that has performed this version four times in the past: all four times have been with male patients. He said that men typically carry their fat UNDER their abs, whereas women typically carry it between the abs and skin. Therefore, he put the port under the abdominal wall because it would be less likely to be noticed and wouldn’t erode through the skin. However, he said in two of those four cases he ended up having to do another surgery and move the port to above the abdomen. The reason for that is because (1) the abominal tissue is extremely tough and tends to clog up the needle used to inject saline into the port, and (2) the abs scar pretty badly, making it really tough to poke through. I have to imagine that finding the port would also be hard, so it would end up being a lot of poking & jabbing with the needle until you found the right spot. That sounds hugely painful, doesn’t it?  I am not sure that I like Option 2 at all. It freaks me out!

Option 3: Doctor P thinks it would be possible to cut a small hole into the abdominal muscle and actually EMBED the port into my abs. That way it would still be easily accessible from the outside, but it would be more flush with the skin and not noticeable. It would not cause erosion through the skin this way. My surgeon has never personally done this before, and he said he would call around to other surgeons to see if they have heard of doing such a thing. I like this option a lot, but I have concerns about whether this will limit my range of movement & muscle capability in my abs (Doctor P says it wouldn’t but how could it NOT?) plus I’m concerned about how painful that surgery must me and the healing time to go with it. Still, I think I like Option 3 best, in addition with Option 1 (which I agree is perhaps not the best long-term solution).

So I have three options on the table. Which one makes the most sense to you? Which would you choose?

I have another appointment with another surgeon next week, so I’ll get someone else’s opinion at that time.  It seems like a big enough decision and a big enough surgery that I wouldn’t mind getting another opinion about my options. This is by no means a reflection of Doctor P, though.  He’s been nothing but totally awesome through this whole process, and I really appreciated him giving me more options yesterday.  He has given me personal attention and personal care through the whole process (he even does my fills himself, rather than having an assistant do it), which is definitely something unique to my gastric banding experience.

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Thank you Dr. P!

by Christine on March 4th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Today I’m going in for a little fill in my gastric band. Nothing big, but I need a little tweak; I can eat far too much than I should be able to. I hope my doctor grants me my wish for a fill. I worry that he won’t, since I’m pretty much within Final Weight range. I hope he can trust me!

This is the first time I’ve seen my doctor since I reached my goal weight, and I wanted to bring him a thank you card for his help. This is part of the Thank-You card that I made for him. I hope he likes it!

THANK YOU DOCTOR P! I couldn’t have done it without you!

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