Sunday, August 26, 2012

Updates: One Month Post Surgery

While I am definitely not where I would like to be (in terms of the amount of weight I have lost, or really haven't lost), I am happy to say that I am one month post surgery and doing so much better than I was the first few weeks. Here are some updates:

I am so happy to say that I am no longer in pain (well at least pain related to my lap band).  My incisions are finally healing, and while they do get itchy from time to time, they no longer hurt, burn, stab, etc. I am back to wearing regular pants (no more sweatpants) and can do up my jeans without them pressing on my large incisions.

I am slowly introducing a number of my favourite foods back into my diet. So far I haven't had many problem foods, but have to constantly remind myself to chew chew chew and eat slowly. I have had a couple of 'stuck' incidents that resulted from me eating too quickly or a too big bite, and they are not fun. I got stuck on a piece of granola bar the other day and didn't make it to the bathroom in time to throw it back up. This concerns me a bit, as I am scared to eat out in public with others should I have to throw my food back up.
I realized in the past couple of days that I wasn't getting enough protein (and possibly eating too many carbs) so I have made a conscious effort to introduce more protein packed foods into my diet. I tried greek yogurt for the first time last week and while I am not loving it, it's okay when paired with blueberries and some protein packed granola. Other protein packed foods I plan to introduce this week are vegetarian burgers, vegetarian ground meat and possibly a homemade protein shake (still unsure what kind of protein powder to use).
I am trying to stay within the 1000 calories per day mark, and so far have no problems with this.

My weightloss has been absolutely frustrating. In the past two weeks I have gone up and down so many times, I can't even remember the different numbers. Before I had my surgery, my family's main concern was that I wouldn't lose weight. I have never been a really big eater, so it's not like I am cutting down from eating a bag of potato chips and a litre of coke a day. Also, I had tried to lose weight in the past two years (weight watchers, no carb diets, etc.) with no success. The surgeon assured me that if I followed the program I would lose the weight. Well, what now? I am going to call the surgeon's office tomorrow and request a face to face sit down with the dietician as I am not satisfied emailing her or talking over the phone. There has to be some reason I am not losing the weight, and I would like to know why.

Telling Others
This week I helped out at a golf tournament my Dad was running. When it came time for lunch, I had to tell the person in charge that I couldn't eat the food they provided and would have to go home to get my lunch. They looked at me strangely and so I had to explain why. I don't have a real problem telling people about my surgery (hello, I have a blog all about it) but can imagine that in the future I won't want to explain my food choices to every single person I interact with.

A Big Outing
One of the things I was most concerned about after surgery was the Kenny Chesney concert I had tickets for 3 weeks after my surgery. I honestly didn't think I would be able to make the 3 hour drive (there and back), but when the time came, I was feeling okay and managed to make it out. There were a few incidents with stomach aches, but overall I had a really good time. I brought my own food into the concert which definitely helped.

I am slowly learning what to do and what not to do with my lap band, but really hope the weight starts coming off soon.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Self Conscious

I know I haven't updated in a while and I promise to do a big update later this evening or tomorrow. I quickly wanted to write about something while it is still in my mind. You would think that as I begin to lose weight (not the amount I would like to have lost, but I have lost some) I would start to feel better about myself. This has not been the case. I don't know if it is the fact that I am constantly thinking about my weight, but I have been feeling so self conscious to the point that I don't want to go out in public. This afternoon my sister and I were supposed to go out shopping so she can get some clothes for teaching (she recently got on our school board's supply list), but I had a bit of a mental break down over the fact that I felt too fat and was embarrassed for others to see me. There have been a few times in the past where I have had my moments of being self conscious but honestly never like this. I hope this feeling goes away soon but I'm honestly not sure it will. It's hard thinking about your weight constantly. Worrying about not losing enough, or your clothes being too sloppy or too tight. I definitely thought I would have some emotional breakdowns, but not about this.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Updates (Two Weeks Post Op)

I apologize for not writing any posts this past week. Luckily my absence has less to do with the fact that I am still in pain, sick, etc. and more to do with the fact that things are finally getting back on track. While I still have a bit of pain around my incisions, I am feeling worlds better and am so happy to start to feel like myself again. Below are more updates: 

Like I said above, my pain is world's better.  I had my incisions checked yesterday (all of the bandages were also removed) and while the large incision is still quite tender, the other four don't bother me at all.

I am definitely not feeling as exhausted as I was the first week, but still find that I need to take it easy. I went out to a store with my sister last week and after 20 minutes realized I needed to go home and rest. My body definitely sends me signals when it has had too much, and I am being careful not to push myself beyond my limits. 

Last week was part of the 'pureed food stage' and surprisingly wasn't that bad. After being on a strict liquid diet, it was nice to have something different. I was worried how things like scrambled eggs and cottage cheese would go down (a lot of people get horrible stuck episodes with scrambled eggs) but I am happy to say I have yet to get stuck (knock on wood!). Yesterday was my first day of soft food (basically an extension of the pureed stage but adding a few items in). After talking to my nutritionist, I decided to try some weight watchers lasagna. It was weird taking such small bites and having to chew them 20-30 times, but it tasted so good!

My weight has been all over the place this week. One day I'm down two pounds, and the next I am up three. It is really freaking me out, because of course I did this whole thing to lose lose lose.  I honestly don't think I am eating too much (if anything before yesterday, I was eating too little). I am afraid to call the surgeon's office because I think they will try and blame the weight gain on me and just assume I am eating bad choices, or eating too much but honestly, that is not the case. For breakfast I eat one egg, with a bit of low fat cheese on top, and a mini yogurt. For lunch, I have 1/2 cup of homemade soup and for dinner I have 1/2 a mini weight watcher lasagna and 1/4 cup of cottage cheese. I do usually get hungry around 8 and will have either a popsicle, a little more lasagna, or 1/2 of a low fat homemade carrot muffin. 

My First Fill
I remember before I had my surgery, I read all of these posts in the online forum I frequent where people were saying how they couldn't wait to have their first fill. I personally thought they were crazy as the idea of having a huge needle stuck in my stomach, and spending 2 days on a liquid diet again are not appealing. Now, I totally understand. While I am eating less than I would have before the surgery, I don't feel as full as everyone says I should be. Now that my stomach is not swollen, and my band has not been tightened, I am hungry throughout the day. I believe I can't have my first fill until 6 weeks after surgery, so the next month may be a little rough. I am going to try and eat until I am not hungry, but also not ignore true hunger, and not eating can make me feel very sick. 

I am definitely not regretting this surgery as much as I was last week, but I am still very upset with the place I had my surgery. I feel like they deliberately left A LOT of information out in order to secure my money. There are so many things I have found out since having the surgery, that they never informed me of. I do plan on writing them an email expressing my displeasure (that's putting it nicely), but every time I start to write it, I get super angry and have to walk away from the computer. 

As always, thank you so much for your support! It is so so appreciated. 


Friday, August 3, 2012

Updates, Updates and More Updates (One Week Post Surgery)

I apologize for no written posts in the past week, but I have been in the inner depths of hell (slight exaggeration). To say my pain on days 2 and 3 was excruciating would be an understatement. It was so bad! Not only did my incisions hurt, I had really bad gas pains in my chest and back. The nausea I experienced was also really bad and I was petrified of throwing up because I didn't want to make my stomach hurt any further. Luckily I was able to use relaxational breathing to stop myself from being sick to my stomach. Here are some updates from my week:

Like I said above, my pain has been really really bad. I thought that day one would be the worst of it, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't feeling a little smug day one thinking "if this is the worst of it, I am flying high!".  Trust me, it wasn't the worst of it. I have had several kinds of pain (listed below): 

1) Incision pain: I had five different incisions during surgery (all on my stomach) including one large incision and four small incisions. For some reason, these have been burning and itching like crazy, causing me to feel a slight bit nauseous every time I look down to make sure they are okay. 

2) Gas pain: To be honest, the gas pains I have experienced (mostly in my shoulder, chest and back) haven't been as bad as I thought they would be. They are uncomfortable, making my chest feel a lot of pressure, but with a little gas-x and a hiccup like burp (apparently people with the lap band need to re-learn how to burp...what?!), they are easily made better. 

3) Muscular pain: This has definitely been the worst kind of pain. While I know that the doctors didn't cut any of my stomach muscles, it certainly feels that way. On days 2 and 3, I was unable to lift myself up from a lying to seating position because I didn't have any strength in my stomach muscles. This caused a lot of screaming, crying, moaning, etc. 

4) Fibromyalgia pain: Unfortunately this surgery has caused my fibromyalgia to flare up. My back has been extremely painful, and unlike the other pain that can be somewhat helped with heavy pain medication (I have been trying not to take much, however), the fibro pain is constant and doesn't go away. 

The first week consisted of full fluids, which to be honest is just fine with me. I haven't been very hungry, and have actually experienced a fair bit of nausea every time I have something to eat. My favourites during this week have been cranberry juice, popsicles, unsweeted passion tea over ice,  and Yop (a yogurt drink). Today, I move onto to the pureed (or mushy) phase which includes things like apple sauce, scrambled eggs, low fat pudding, yogurt and cottage cheese. I am really excited to be able to eat some 'real food' again, but am also really nervous to see how these foods will go down (and if they will stay down). 

I am happy to say that as of yesterday I am down 14lbs (since the start of my pre-op diet). The weight seems to be melting off at the moment,  until yesterday (when I somehow gained 3lbs). My mom thinks I should stop weighing myself daily, so I am going to try and start weighing myself on a weekly basis, so I am not upset by any random gaining. 

Hospital Visit
Unfortunately on Wednesday, I had a bit of a scare. My sister and I were out on a quick shopping trip (my first real attempt at getting out of the house), when I started feeling like I couldn't breathe properly. My chest was extremely painful and tight, making it hard to catch my breath. We went to the emergency room, where they got me a bed right away, gave me some pain medication (morphine is my new best friend), and did some blood work and x-rays. When the doctor came back to the room to tell me I tested positive for blood clots, I was freaking out. Luckily, he gave me a shot of blood thinners (in my stomach), and ordered some tests for the next day. I am happy to say that after two different tests yesterday, there are no blood clots the doctors can physically see (I don't know if my test was a false positive or if I did have some clots and the blood thinners diluted them), and I was able to go home. 

I posted a video of my hospital experience yesterday (including a call I made to my parents when I wasn't able to breathe very well). I realize that some people think this is too personal, and question why I would post such a video on the internet. Here is my answer: From day one, I decided I would be completely open about this process. I want to share both the bad and good with my subscribers/viewers for a number of reasons: 1) I am an open book and it is easier to show what is going on with my life, than to hide it like some really big secret. 2) I know the majority of people who read this blog, aren't planning on having weight loss surgery, but for those who might be considering it, I want them to know the good, the bad and the ugly so that they can make a more informed decision. 3) When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I kept everything to myself. I didn't think any of my friends would understand what was going on with me, and I didn't want to bore anyone with the details. Needless to say, I lost A LOT of friends, and became extremely unhappy. I don't want to lose friends because I am keeping every bad thing that happens to me to myself. The lap band is going to be a huge part of my life forever, and it would be weird for me to talk about everything else in my life, and not share the details of my surgery/recovery. I know not everyone will agree with my approach, but I have never forced anyone to read this blog or watch my daily videos. This is who I am, and that is not going to change

To say that I have regretted this surgery every single day would be an understatement. At this point, the pain has been so bad, I really wish I had not gone through with it. With that said, I know that will not be the case in a couple of months. Every single person I have spoken with about the surgery (or heard speak about the surgery), has said they have absolutely no regrets, despite the fact that they have had a variety of complications. 

It is my hope that week two will go a little more smoothly and I will be fancy free and flying high very soon. As always, thanks for all of your support.