Too much restriction!

by Christine on September 14th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

I really think this is the first time in 2.5 years that I’ve had TOO much restriction with my gastric band! And I’m not sure why.  What correlation does stress have on the band? Unless it’s getting an injection, the band is a relatively static piece of plastic. So why am I suddenly so tight I can’t keep any food down? Does stress somehow cause irritation of the stomach lining or something? That doesn’t seem like a reasonable physical response to me.

Yesterday I went to Paneras for lunch and ordered the creamy tomato soup (my favorite). And hour later I had only had 5 spoonfuls, and I had to barf the last of that up. NOT NORMAL!

I have an appointment scheduled for next week with my surgeon’s office. I had originally intended on getting a fill because I was feeling like I could eat too much and I was hungry all the time. Now, I’m wondering if I should cancel my appointment or even get a little Un-Fill?  I wonder if this will pass.

In better news…my medicine is finally kicking in, and today I feel more human than I have felt in a week. Much less depressed and much better focused.

Also–my weight is creeping back down. 130.0 today and going down by the day.

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New Tool Decides When to Authorize Weight Loss Surgery

by Christine on August 16th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

There’s a new tool out there hitting the medical community that will help doctors determine when a person should get weight loss surgery. It’s call the Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) and you can read about it in this WebMD article here.

A selection from the article:

“When you have a waiting list, you try to think about how you prioritize people on that waiting list,” says study researcher Arya M. Sharma, MD, PhD, professor and chairman of obesity research and management at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, “Who do you see first?”

“So we thought, maybe take the heaviest patients first because they might be the people who are sickest,” Sharma tells WebMD. “But when we looked at that closely, we found that that isn’t always true.”

Doctors call this the obesity paradox.

 

And this little tidbit:

And when researchers cross-referenced their work against death records, they found that BMI wasn’t a reliable predictor of a person’s death risk, but their EOSS score was.

 

Interesting stuff. Even more interesting is that they list a BMI of 25 or higher as the start of their criteria for the surgery. When I got the surgery, I had to have a BMI of 40 or higher!  Hells bells, I only have a BMI of 24 right now, which just barely puts me in the “Normal Weight” category; I’m only 1 point away from being obese.  In a mere six pounds more than I weigh now, I could qualify for weight loss surgery again. Man, that’s….weird.

What do you think of this new EOSS tool?  What do you think of the BMI requirement for surgery?

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Fill #10 or something

by Christine on July 19th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Today I had a follow-up meeting with my surgeon (the marvelous Doctor P. who can perform miracles, I tell ya!) to see how I’m doing since my port replacement surgery.  This trip to the doctor’s office was a really weird experience. I remember the first time I went to my surgeon’s office.  I felt so orka fat going in there. I mean, I was seeing a doctor that specialized in fat asses like mine. When I got to the waiting room, I remember being so relieved that all the seats were the extra-wide ones. I could sit comfortably while waiting for the doctor, imagine that!

I remember seeing other people in the waiting room. Other fat people. People that took up every inch of those extra-wide seats. I remember sitting there distressed, realizing that I was one of them. I belonged there, waiting to see the Fat Doctor. It was a very eye-opening and humiliating experience. I was also terrified those first few visits to the doctor’s office. I was scared of what this process would all entail. I was scared that I wouldn’t qualify for the surgery. I was scared that the surgery would fail me, like all my diets and exercise failed in the past.  Scared and humiliated; that was me.

Two and a half years later, the change was astounding. I walked in the door and went to the receptionist, who looked at me like I was from another planet when I told her I had an appointment with Doctor P. “What is this for?” she asked me. “A follow-up visit after my surgery 2 weeks ago,” I told her, and she stared at me like I was insane.”Are you sure?” she asked me.

There was a woman in the waiting room. She was a much older lady–60 years old or something, much older than the usual weight-loss surgery patient. She had to use a walker to get around. Her weight was clearly hindering her ability to move, even to walk or stand at the counter. She kept looking at me and smiling at me, but was clearly puzzled. Why are you here?

There was another woman in the waiting room. Maybe 35 years old, probably a mother of 2.5 kids and a soccer mom to boot. She looked like most of the patients I have seen sit in that waiting room. She stared at me the whole time I was in the room. Glaring at me. Seriously, if looks could kill I would be dead. I wanted to tell her, “Do everything you can to make this surgery work, lady. I was you two years ago. This shit will change your life. It’s for REAL.”

I felt uncomfortable. Out of place. A stranger in a land that I used to be a member of.

The waiting room chairs seemed so big today. Like I could fit 3 of me in them. When did they get so BIG?

Then the nurse called me into the consult room. I was thinner than her. In fact, I was thinner than the ladies working at the front desk, and the woman working in the office down the hall. I was the thinnest person in the building, aside from Doctor P himself. Weird. The nurse was very nice, very complimentary, remarking on my weight loss. She smiled a lot and made me feel more welcome, and I appreciated that.  She told me that in her experience, the success weight maintenance patients are the ones that come in for regular visits (like once a year) and keep tabs on their weight and progress. I weighed in a 134 pounds on their scale (fully clothed, a bucket of water in my system) which was only 1 pound more than last time I weighed in in March. That surprised me.

Doctor P came in to see me. He took the bandage off my tummy and oh my! The incision is so small! The new incision is exactly 1.5 centimeters wide. I took out a ruler and measured it.  The freaking port is bigger than that! How do they do that?

Sorry for the gross pic, with my stretch marks and crap on there. Still, it shows how small my scar is, and how well it has healed in just 2 weeks!

While I was at the doc’s, I asked him for another fill.  He warned me about the dangers of over-filling (like he always does) and then he agreed to give me one (like he always does.) He gave me a whole 0.5 ccs in my band this time! That’s a lot! I asked him how much fluid I have in my band currently, and he said “more than 10.”  I thought I had a 11 cc band, but maybe mine is bigger. That means I’m nearly tightened to the max? It doesn’t feel that way.

I took my gulp of water, which went down just fine, and I was on my way. I made sure I gave Doctor P a hug first. A man that helps to give you your life back deserves at least that much, right?

It’ll be a soup night for me tonight, as it always is after I receive a fill!

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Bloodletting!

by Christine on July 18th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning Revolutionists! I hope you are all doing well. It’s a busy few days for me here, as you could see from yesterday’s post. This week at work will be a busy one, too.

  1. My car is on the fritz. Again! I thought buying an Acura meant that it would be better built, but apparently not. My air conditioning stopped working today, and today I was quoted $1400 to fix it. Cripes!!! It’s very very difficult to get ahead financially sometimes, you know? We’re exploring much, much cheaper options to fix it.
  2. Tomorrow I have a follow-up appointment with the bariatric surgeon. I’m healing nicely, so I don’t expect any bad news on that topic. I am, however, very eager to get a fill. I hope he will accommodate my wishes!
  3. Tonight we’re going to see Harry Potter! We’re also going out to dinner with friends. It’s always very important to pre-plan your meals if you are eating out; otherwise you will forget your commitment to lose weight and order something dumb like nachos or pasta with cream sauce.  There are a variety of salads and fish dishes at this restaurant that I like. I will order those, and then ask for a bunch of stuff to be replaced or removed to cut down on the calories even more. It’s picky, but it works!

Despite the issues with my now-shitty-POC car, I’m feeling pretty good today! I slept well, nothing hurts or is broken on me. I’m grateful to have a job and a paycheck, a husband that loves me, friends that put up with me, a house that hasn’t burned down, etc.

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Constipation and port replacement surgery do not go hand in hand.

by Christine on July 12th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Constipation. Port-replacement surgery. Let me tell you something, folks. The two do not and should not go hand-in hand. I haven’t pooped in about 2 weeks, and my body finally said that it had enough. It had a two-week compacted, compressed poop that was about 14 miles wide and hard as a fucking brick firmly lodged somewhere in my poop track.

Even on a good day that piece of shit would have been hard to push out of my body. On a good day it would take a little stool softener, some prune juice, some abdomen rubbing, some wiggling back and forth to loosen that baby up and get it moving on its way. I’d probably put on some relaxing music in the potty, some ridiculous glamor magazine that was handed down to me. I might file my nails on the potty or brush my cat’s fur while waiting for the action to happen.

But add into the mix a very sore abdomen–so sore, in fact, that I’m on some pretty heavy-duty drugs to make the healing process better, and you get a very ugly scene.

This morning I woke up SOBBING on the toilet. It hurt so bad I stuck a suppository up my ass.  (Leftovers from the first time I had the gastric banding surgery, I might add, so we’re talking about 2 year old suppositories. Do those things have an expiration date?) I laid on the bathroom floor massaging my abdomen. I sat on the toilet and was rocking so hard back and forth that I nearly rocked the toilet off its base. I prune juiced it, coffeed it. I laxa-tatived it.  No matter. This ginormous piece of shit was going to lodge itself stubbornly just out of reaching room, just inside my syphinxtor, and there wasn’t a damn thing I was going to do about it.

It was a real lose-lose situation. Either I was going to go to work with a painful turd stuck inside me all day, or I was going to have to risk tearing my poor abs apart trying to push that son-of-a-gun out of me. I opted for the 2nd choice. In the end I was victorious, but let me tell you, there were some casualties along the way. Each of my 6-pack gunmen are down for the count, and I’m not sure what kind of resuscitation I need to do to bring them back to life.

I’m pretty sure my neighbors heard my orgasm-like screaming as I was finally freed from the concrete poop. They’re probably going to high-five my husband the next time they see him mowing the lawn.  There’s a fine line between shrieks of ecstasy and cries of pain, let me tell you. I doubt I’ll have to heart to tell them that my husband is not, in fact, “da man” and it’s my toilet that deserves praise for its hard work today.

A note to anyone that will be going through the gastric banding or port replacement surgery in the future: start taking stool softeners regularly so that when the “urge” hits you, it hopefully won’t be a painful process.

Holy cripes.

In better news: A Dance with Dragons (by George RR Martin) hit the bookstores today! Did you get your copy??

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