Monday, September 3, 2018

It’s offically Lapband Removal Month

T-Minus countdown days starts NOW!

It is September and I am offically getting nervous for my surgery date that is quickly approaching ! To have this lapband removed will be a coordinated effort between what little I can do, what my husband can take on, and then how much my Mom can step in to help out. We have 2 small children to coordinate in the mix too. Both of which are too small to understand what will happen. I’m not wanting them to visit me while I’m in the hospital. I think that would scare my eldest too much. It will all work out in the end but just this anticipation is nerve racking.

This week I see my surgeon for a pre op appointment as I’m hoping to get a clearer run down of what I need to do to prepare. I also have to do a few remaining bloodwork. Im going to make a list of questions I need to ask when I’m there because I typically forget most of them.

One question in particular I’m curious to find out is how many patients who have the lapband removed choose gastric sleeve versus gastric bypass? Another Doctor mentioned to me that 75% of lapband revision patients who choose the sleeve end up coming back for another revision to gastric bypass! That number is astonishing to me. It definitely makes me consider bypass now. I haven’t found much online about it but coming from a Doctor who sees thousands of gastric cases per year, well it makes it something to consider. I’m a bit more nervous thinking bypass could be a better option but messing with the intestines and dumping syndrome makes me timid. Dumping is still present in the sleeve but percentages are lower.

I’ll post once I learn my next step!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Date Is in the books

Surgery scheduler called and I now am the proud owner of a Sept 18th surgery date. This will be my first to remove my Realize Gastric Band.

Scared it’s becoming a reality. Excited to move on.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Poop-in-a-Bag

Today I completed my lab work. Blood, stool and EKG.

I knew I had to do a stool sample. Eww. Normally they give you all your poop collection items as you leave. They request you do it at home then bring it back. I’m ahead of the game today. I pooped in a ziplock and brought it with me. Something about a bacteria that lives in your intestinal area is what they need to test.

(I’ve been collecting my child’s poop all week as she swallowed a marble. Something like that they don’t remove. Come on, I had to make sure it was out. 5 days later.)

Any how, me being an overachiever kinda grossed out the lab tech. Ha ha ha. Never again, but saved the extra trip. Man, it was stanky!

Next I await my lab results and hopefully schedule an appointment with the Doctor that gives me clearance to move forward in the program.

Weight for today: 228.0

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

And So It Begins

I’m offically enrolled into the Gastric Revision Program.

This means I’m waiting for a surgery date to remove my lapband in one surgery, then a second surgery will be scheduled for the gastric Sleeve at a later date. I have to go through the 6 months process to do the second half because of Kaiser’s process. I think that is extremely long but rumor has it some patients clear early.

I went to 2 classes thus far. An orientation class & general nutrition class. Each 2 hours. I learned a few new things from the Nutrition class & id like to learn more. The other class was just an over view of the 2 surgeries they offer & steps that need to be completed. All very familiar but a bit more lengthy than when I got my lapband 9 years ago.

Things I’ve got to do now are blood & stool lab work. Then start the classes for bariatric surgery. Unfortunately for me, Kaiser’s bariatric Program is booming so I won’t start these classes until October. 

It’s kind of a waiting Point right now. I don’t have to do anything for the lapband removal BUT I do have to wait until the surgery scheduler calls. It’s a holding period in my life because you have to stay available for a date to come up. That’s frustrating as I’d like to know so I can plan it around my life. 

Nutrition class 2hr
Orientation class 2hr
Blood lab work
Stool lab work
Meet with Dr to be approved for surgery
Sleep study or clearance of
Classes 24 weeks 
Lapband removal surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery

Monday, July 9, 2018

It’s my Surgeons Fault

Finally! I had my surgeon follow up appointment from all of the abdominal pain I’ve been having for over a month now. In my last post I mentioned I went to the ER and left with the diagnosis of a swollen esophagus. Well today in my appointment I stood over the surgeons back and asked him to show me my CT Scan & explain the swelling. He looked at me confused as the ER evaluation he was looking at stated there was no swollen esophagus but swelling in my fat under my ab muscles.

Now why was I told one thing the. The paperwork says something different???

I’m visual so I asked him to show me in the CT imagery. Well it showed the swelling there kinda like a storm cloud when the coloring of the scan should of been black. Clearly my body was pissed about something .... The Dr took total blame and said it seems like when he tried to do the fill last time that maybe he injected the 5cc’s into the scar tissue instead. Poking and injecting in the scar tissue or he caused me to bleed... well which ever one of his assumptions has sucked because of the pain it has caused me.

He then asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I want him to take it out and possibly do a gastric sleeve. The magical internet has shown me that both can be done in the same opporation... but Kaiser does not do them together. I’m looking at 2 surgeries and up to 6 months of hoops to jump through just to get it all done. Now if I just want the band removed that can be done just by scheduling and could be done as little as 2 months. Just a matter of when he has an opening.

Sigh...

I left there disappointed. Still in minimal and mild pain. Now with 2 very big surgeries to consider. Since doing this entire process now puts a hold on my husband changing his job. New job would mean new insurance and more delay. I’m suppose to start looking for work after 3 years of enjoying my stay at home mommy mode. Where does this surgery land? I can’t put off finding work either. My husband never agreed with me getting the Lapband so once these issues started he chimed in and said “i told you so” kinda crap. He has been thin his entire life and never once had to worry about weight loss so he does not get it at all. I love him dearly but positive support is what I need.

Another long sigh...

Weight today : 225.0 lbs

Sunday, June 24, 2018

My 9 Hour ER Visit

Could not stand the pain last week so I drove myself to the ER. I went in for abdominal pain.

They drew blood and a urine test, then hooked me up to an IV for dehydration. Now this is over a span of 9 hours, mind you. The doctor recommended I do a CT scan of my belly. Check out in detail of what may be going on with my lapband that is causing pain. Now, this causes a major concern for me because I am allergic to contrast dye. Red flag for me. Tons of back and forth between one doctor to the next and then a radiologist finally allowed me to get one done. BUT then I had to have a standard X-ray to see if there was any Barium fluid from my Upper GI X-ray the day before. My oh my. THey then gave me some allergy medicines to help prevent any reaction to the contrast dye. At the end of 2 sets of X-rays and the CT Scan I now know my lapband has caused my esophagus to swell where it is attached.

Pain in my entire abdomen and my lower back is caused by a single area of swelling. It has now been a total of 3 weeks. The pain is less as I took it upon myself to read a bit online about what others have gone through. Some stated to do a soft foods or liquid diet to help the irritation go down. So that is what I have been doing since Friday. I'm 3 days in to soft foods and protein shakes. (I really don't know how I lasted so long before not eating in Pre-Op). This will get me through till my July appointment with the GI Surgeon... Which is another 2 weeks away!

Weight : 217

Friday, June 22, 2018

Sitting and waiting in pain

Yep, that’s right... Pain. I feel like my lapband May have slipped? Im not really sure though. I feel like the more I read online the more confused I am getting.

I had met with my new surgeon at the end of May. His attempt to do a fill was unsuccessful. I was okay for a week. No pain, could eat more with less restriction. A week after seeing him the pain began. It fluctuated through the day, couldn’t lay on my left side, port pain & swelling. I had even called in to get an appointment since the pain was so bad. The earliest appointment is July 9th. I’m pissed about how long away it is to get in. So sitting in pain for 3 weeks isn’t fun for anyone. I even had a nurse relay information about my pain to the dr. she said take pain meds. And if it’s gets worse to go the ER.

During my waiting period  I had a standard X-ray 2 weeks ago & this week I had an upper GI X-ray. You know, when you swallow the thick liquid and they record it going through your throat - stomach.  Nasty. But was able to watch part of the monitor to see what was going on. Clearly I was looking at the port and loop around my stomach. It wasn’t clear enough to see if it was in done or out of place.

Not cool waiting. Sigh

Weight : 222.2

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Coming up on YEAR 9

As my 9th year of being banded is quickly approaching I tried to remember what got me through the beginning stages of my banded life. I then remembered I had THIS BLOG! I forgot about it through the years. Life got busy. Married, 2 Kids, and ALL of my weight gained back. No ones fault but my own. I have made many bad choices on what I ate. Well I kinda feel like I eat like a 4 year old does... gold fish, cottage cheese, snacks for 'lunch'.

We all control what goes in our bodies, right?

I realize that I haven't had an adjustment since 2012 right before my wedding (eak!). So I schedule an appointment with a GI doctor. I clearly went to the wrong doctor as he proceeded to book me an appointment to have a camera placed into my throat while sedated. Red Flag - Clearly he wasn't the GI I needed to do a standard fill. He thought something was wrong with me as if the band was making me sick. I came across this doctor by a referal from a primary doctor who thought throwing up on purpose because of restriction wasn't normal with a band. Or maybe she didn't know anything about it. This was round 1 and soon my insurance changed... therefore new appointment with new GI doctor.

This second doctor, who I am currently seeing, acted as if I shouldn't of even got an appointment. That I should of been directed to a support group. But 'since I was there' he went along with doing a fill. He struggled finding the port, moaned and groaned about placement, and in the end with multiple tries he was unable to pull any fluid out to empty it and then place new fluid in. Claiming I may have a hole. His quick comment was to just have it replaced or removed as the Lapband technology is kinda diminishing. People are getting them removed and possibly a bypass under same surgery... AND This hospital doesn't even place Lapbands. CRAP!

So where does that leave me?

Instead of jumping right into the operating room, I am refereed to a Post Surgery Clinic. They follow up and guide you in the right direction after weight loss. WOW I kinda wish that I had that available to me 9 years ago. It would of been very helpful to have a counselor to talk to versus an odd group of strangers at a support group. The counselor called and set me up with X-rays of my band to check placement. Then another appointment to do an upper GI X-ray. This one I will swallow contrast dye and watch the restriction live.

Now my mind wonders... Do I have it replaced, removed, removed and have gastric bypass?

Weight : 222 lbs.

Friday, April 20, 2012

2 Years 6 Months

How time flies... 2 years and 6 months since my surgery.

As a quick summary... I am not where I want to be but back on track. If you have been reading this blog you will see that this past year has been a big struggle for me and how to eat right and find what works. I unfortunately have missed out on the restriction boat. Maybe I am just not meant for the band since 80 percent of the time this past year I have not been full when I should. I have battled the head hunger and physical hunger every day. It hasn't been easy.

Sometimes I feel disappointed of my weight since I hoped to be further along. Would I still do the surgery knowing I could only loose 30 pounds? I would have to say YES! My life has improved greatly. I am so much healthier than I was. I have a lot more motivation and confidence in myself. With the little bit of weight coming off these past few weeks it has recharged me.

What to strive for in the next 6 months... well in shorter terms I have a wedding dress fitting at the end of May. I want to keep off my 10 pounds... maybe get rid of a little bit more. Sure for the wedding... BUT also since we would like to try to have a baby after we are married. Sometimes it isn't as easy as 'one time is a charm' so we hope for the best outcome to happen for us. We will be married at the end of July. So not too far away!!! Aside from the weight loss I really want to push myself with working out and feeling happy thru my work days. I don't work out as hard when I am by myself so I want to work on that. The with work I am feeling lazy and lacking motivation. I need to recharge my brain for a better more efficient workday. In my relationship I need to be more patient. Since we now live together, I need to understand that we are getting used to one another in a new way and finding out each others living habits and quirks. It is a great feeling to come home to him each day.

Weight for today: 196

Friday, April 13, 2012

Speeding Past 10

Could be a figment of my imagination since it is Friday the 13th... but this morning I was down a half a pound... sure that isn't much from the day before... but you know what this means...?

I am past the 10 pound mark!!!
Sweet!

Oh little half pound, How I love thee..

Onto 15, then maybe 20 next? You never know. They say the first 10 is the hardest. Not sure who 'they' is but I will definitely vouch that 10 is a hard number to get to but feeling the rewards today. Shit, I have been waiting a year for this moment.

Weight for Today: 196.5