Friday, January 15, 2010

1 Week Post-Op

Yesterday's one week post-op doctor's appointment was quick, easy and painless. The doctor examined my scars (3 of the 4 steristrips had come off already) and told me that my scars were healing just fine - I even learned about the proper healing color patterns of wounds and bruises! He explained what the large mystery bruise on my upper right arm was (doctors shot me up with drugs after the surgery and, because I was given heparin to thin my blood to help reduce the chance of blood clots, my arm couldn't handle the shot without bruising), and gave me tips for the next few weeks until I have my first LapBand fill on Saturday, February 6th! In case you weren't aware, my band is empty at the moment - no saline in it whatsoever. When they first install the band in your stomach, they leave it unfilled so that all the sutures holding your stomach and whatnot together have a chance to heal and develop scar tissue. So, the "tool" isn't 100% active at the moment and I'm bound to get hungry before February 6th rolls around and I finally get some saline in my band.

For now, I'm not allowed to do two things: (1) weigh myself and (2) buy new clothes. The doctor yesterday told me that not weighing myself will make me constantly curious about what I'm weighing, how I'm doing, etc., which will release cortisol (a hormone) into my body and will actually help to burn fat...interesting. Am I wrong for wanting to research that one when I have some time? But, I'll follow the doctor's orders and only get weighed in at my fill appointments once a month. Buying clothes - yeah, I didn't plan to buy any anyway! I know I'll be losing weight (he said I'll first notice the difference in how my pants fit), and I'm too cheap to go buy new clothes every couple of weeks when I notice my favorite pair of jeans aren't fitting right! As a fat chick, I have a closet full of clothes I've outgrown or don't wear because they don't fit right or, even better, I bought and planned to wear "when I got thin." How long have some of those clothes been in my closet?! At any rate, I'm sure I'll be just fine on clothes for awhile...I'll wait until Spring Break (last week of March) to buy some new wardrobe pieces. By then, I should have lost close to 50 pounds and will be going to visit my boyfriend for the week in West Virginia...I think that calls for some new clothes! The doctor's reasoning for me not buying new clothes has a lot to do with common sense - wanting to make sure I feel the difference of weight loss in the clothes I have and not wasting money on clothes often if I happen to drop weight quickly.

My only confusion about the doctor yesterday was the diet I'm supposed to be on. The nutritionist I worked with to get my insurance authorization prior to the surgery e-mailed me my dietary guidelines for pre- and post-surgery. They clearly outlined what to eat each week, stating they I was to move to pureed foods on week 2 and solid foods on week 3. I have a complete table filled of types of foods, examples, etc. Yesterday? The follow-up doctor told me that I should have been on clear liquids week 1, full liquids week 2, THEN pureed foods on week 3 and then, finally, solids on week 4. Hmm...surely a big difference in what I'm supposed to eat. He did tell me not to worry about calories and that I can start doing cardio exercises as soon as I feel up to it. I am on a weight restriction (nothing heavier than 10 pounds) until the first month of healing is over, but it'll be nice to start using my Biggest Loser Wii game soon to start pumping up the weight loss! As for the diet? I'm going to stick with what the nutritionist told me - she also sent me YouTube videos to the Head Dietitian who outlined the same post-op diet she had e-mailed me in writing. So, yeah.

The "company" I got this surgery through is a pretty large company - the doctor who did my surgery (Dr. Salimitari) is someone I will never see again unless I choose to. He used to be part of the "Top Surgeons" group, where I went for my consultation, pre-op work and will go for post-op, but he now practices outside of that group. Therefore, all of my follow-up visits will be done about 5 minutes from my house by one of two doctors who come up from Los Angeles to hold office hours for LapBand patients on Thursdays and Saturdays. Since the guy I saw yesterday (who, incidentally, was the same doctor I saw for my consultation two months ago) wasn't the guy who did the surgery and isn't the Head Dietitian for the entire "Top Surgeons" group, I'm going to stick with the diet given to me in writing. Besides that? I'm ready for some MUSHIES!

Although...having said that, it's definitely an interesting learning curve. Boyfriend and I went out last night with my students for an FFA meeting and karaoke night and I treated myself to some mashed potatoes and gravy. Plus side? My total bill was $1.79 for the potatoes and water I drank, taking $3 total out of my wallet for the dinner plus tip - WOOT! Down side? I'm going to learn quickly how to handle food with this band. I had been sipping on my water while my FFA officers and I met prior to the event, and then worked eagerly on the mashed potatoes when they arrived. After finishing most of the little bowl, boyfriend notified me that I was turning red. Yeah, I wasn't feeling too hot...we went outside so I could get some air and walk around...and I didn't eat again the rest of the night. I was SO full. My students requested a couple of songs for me to sing and I got hoarse trying to sing them, but was scared to drink any more water for fear of exploding! LOL! But, all is well - I didn't throw up, the nausea and fullness are gone. But, yeesh, when these doctors say not to eat and drink at the same time because your belly isn't big enough to handle all of it at once - they weren't joking! I'm going to have SO MUCH FUN learning the capacity of my "new" stomach!

Finally, my weight loss thus far. I'm not going to weigh myself anymore (doctor's orders - did you miss that above in all of my rambling?), so I'll post my weight and loss when I go to the doctor. My scale at home yesterday had said I was down 15.2 pounds, but the doctor said I was only down 10...blah. Of course, I have to wear clothes on his scale...and we determined that there's actually a 2 pound difference between his scale and mine. But, I'll go with his scale.

Weight 1-14-10: 328 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 10 pounds


  1. Hmmm interesting. What the doc told you about yot ur diet seems more in line with what is correct than what your dietician told you. I was shocked when you said you were going mush the second week. Most lapbanders I know didn't go mush til week 3 or 4 and I didn't get to go mush until week 6 thou mine was different. The clear liquid made more since too..I was surprised you were drinking milkshakes, etc. But the important thin is that you are feeling good. Clothes, I didn't buy until nothing stayed up anymore, so I think your end of March is a good place to start. Sounds like otherwise your week has been a TERRIFIC success! <3 Grandma

  2. Thank you so much for this through report. DB & I are getting banded on the 27th & these blogs are really helping me learn about the surgery/band. Best wishes to you :)

  3. Perhaps I should look into this myself...glad to hear you are doing so well! :)