Saturday, August 20, 2011

Liquids Day 6.

It's not that I'm TIRED of liquids, I just wish there was more variety in an all-liquid diet.  I've become a little creative by blending the hell out of some soups, bought some fresh fruit to add to my whey protein smoothies...anybody out there have a relatively simple/cheap idea for liquids?  I'm on liquids for band-healing purposes until I see my doctor on August 30th.  Then again, if all is well, he'll probably adjust me that day and I'll be on liquids again for another 48 hours.  Ugh.  I just want to be able to eat like a did a year ago - chew, eat small portions, and be not sick :).

Frustration for the week: Apparently I was highly dehydrated.  All that vomiting/PBing with the band apparently drained my system.  I've still been wearing my bodybugg and tracking calories this week, recording a deficit in calories burned v. calories consumed every day...and I gained almost 3 pounds since last Saturday.

Not cool, body, not cool.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

14.8 pounds away...

I updated my ticker this morning with today's weight.  I had been down at 216.6 last week, but I suppose I overate this weekend (didn't wear the bodybugg and was just trying to get food down when I could), and then since starting on liquids on Monday, my body is rehydrating...I hate when I gain weight for GOOD reason.  Ugh.  At any rate, I'm back down to 217.8 this morning...which means?

I'm 14.8 pounds away from being "overweight."  Not morbidly obese, not obese...just "overweight."  Considering most skinny/healthy Americans actually live in the "overweight" BMI category, I suppose I'll be in pretty good company!  It's still insane to me to think that my unhealthy, obese days are going to be soon behind me.  I know that I've already put many of the bad eating habits I had to rest (even though the fat girl in my head could really go for a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese any day of the week), and, despite the issues I've had with the Band, I'm really glad I made this choice.

Funny-ish story?  I picked up a Driver's License application a month ago and immediately filled it out, but had to wait for the moving company to get here with my boxes in order to get some of the documents that the DMV needed to prove my identity.  I finally took the application and the documents in yesterday, but noticed I had written "225" down as my weight.  At the counter, I told the lady that I'm on a weight loss journey and had actually already passed down the number I had written a month ago (a month ago, I had been holding steady at about 230, waiting to see if I was ever going to get fixed so I could tolerate foods and actually MOVE on the journey again).  Not wanting to be misleading, I ended up changing the number to 200.  I'm not far from that number now, and my goal weight is 169, but I figured that was much more accurate than the 225 I had already passed!  My license won't expire until 2018...I think when I do reach my goal weight, I'm going to go pay for a replacement...heck, when I pass into "onederland," I never want to see my weight listed as starting with anything but a "1" ever again! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

From Shitty Doctor to Awesomeness...

Wow, what a difference it makes to leave a large-scale surgical practice where my LapBand was just another cog in a factory of thousands of patients!  I finally got to see a new doctor today (well, technically the registered bariatric nurse and physician's assistant) who took the time to really hear about what's been going on with my stomach and it's myriad of issues since November 2010.  I then headed over to the surgery center - across the street - and met the SAME P.A. (that shouldn't seem like a miracle, but it IS when you know what kind of surgical practice I came from) who did a barium swallow test on me.  I'd never had one done, but it was really neat to finally see what my band looks like...and it was really awesome to watch the barium quickly go down my esophagus...and just sit there.

Yup, my band is blocked.  Here's what I learned today:

  1. My LapBand is entirely too tight.  In fact, we couldn't even get the barium to pass through the band and into my stomach (you know, the way liquids are SUPPOSED to work - no wonder I couldn't get food down!) until he stuck a needle in me and removed some of the saline in my LapBand.
  2. The stoma (opening to my stomach via the LapBand) is blocked with undigested food.  Why?  Because my LapBand is too tight, every time I eat I'm continuing to add to the blockage that slowly drains into my stomach.  The food never has enough time/space to fully process through the band, leaving a constant blockage.
  3. The pouch above the LapBand which I normally fill with food has grown to at least four times the size it's supposed to be - pouch dilation.  That happened because my band was too tight and the food had nowhere else to go...the result was either throwing up (which I did quite a bit) or stretch out the pouch to attempt to hold the food until it can pass through the band (difficult when it's blocked) for future digestion.
  4. The pouch has grown so big, and so accustomed to holding onto food for hours before releasing it back up my esophagus, that it's actually pushed my LapBand DOWN...the doctor doesn't think it's permanently slipped (requiring another surgery to fix), but hopes that by draining all of the fluid today and putting me on a strictly liquid diet for the next two weeks (yay...), the pouch will shrink back to the size it's supposed to be and my LapBand will find itself back in it's original position.  He says that 99.9% of the time, this plan works to shrink the pouch and resituate the band.  I hope I'm in that percentage!!!  I'm really not looking forward to another surgery!!
  5. I've been having issues eating food and then throwing up (actually "productive burping") 3-5 hours after eating because my huge ass pouch and esophagus have learned to hold on to food.  Nice.
  6. I only had 3.6cc in my band - are you freaking kidding me?!?  My previous doctor swore I was up to 9.5cc.  What a jerk.  He also swore that I wasn't too tight - it was just me not eating properly (small bites, chewing thoroughly, eating slowly, etc.).  HEY ASSHOLE - if liquid barium can't even pass through the freakin' LapBand, I'm too freakin' tight!  Can I sue for malpractice?  I've been dealing with this ass clown since November of 2010 doubting my experience as a patient.
At any rate, it really was neat to see the band and port inside mah belly on a screen...and it's a relief to hear that my new doc is pretty sure I won't need surgery.  While I'm not totally stoked about being on liquids for the rest of August (that means no birthday cake for me on the 28th...sad face), I told the doc that I'm committed to whatever instructions he wanted to give me.  I've been so sick of not being treated correctly, not being listened to, throwing up all solid foods, etc...you bet your sweet ass I want this taken care of!  So, I stocked up on some soups (options are limited when you're looking for pure liquid soups) and some Yoplait frozen fruit smoothie packs.  That, protein shakes and water will be the second half of my August 2011!  I go back in at the end of the month for another barium swallow exam to see how things look...wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bulimia...

Why do people CHOOSE this as a course of weight loss?  Ugh.  I've had quite the week with my band:

Monday - Learned I had to reschedule Tuesday's intensive doctor visit/surgery center testing because my old doctor faxed my medical records to the wrong medical group.  Awesome.  I don't miss them, I don't.  The day continued with little eating for fear of getting massively stuck/sick...it ended with several hours of rest and hydration after standing up, feeling dizzy, and then literally falling on the ground shaking at my house after slamming into my glass patio sliding door.  Ugh.  I also did some research on hypoglycemia and low iron in light of my "unable to eat solid foods" issue...

Tuesday - More dizziness in the morning, but made it through a day of work and was sure to try to stuff in as many carbs and food as I could (that came out to a 100-calorie bag of popcorn and about 1/4 of a muffin the entire day of work).  Came home to stuff myself some more with crunchy things I could tolerate...still ended up waking up at 11:30pm to throw up my belly's contents for the day.

Wednesday - Dizziness is gone, but now I'm just sleepy...yeah, a lack of energy (read: food) will do that to you.  I didn't drink coffee today, but instead chose to drink water to keep hydrated.  Managed to get a little food down while at work, then tried a few ounces of pork chop and rice when I got home.  Spent the evening completely stuck and miserable again until my belly decided to give all of that food to my toilet just a few minutes ago.

Ugh.  I am completely drained, but trying to keep a smile on my face!  I do get to see the doctor next Monday (mental note: call new doc to make sure my ass clown doctors from CA got my records sent over this time), and I'm hoping things will start to look up!  I did not sign up for weight loss by bulimia.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My problem.

So here's the weird issue I've been having for the past few months...I can tolerate solid food in the moment I'm eating it.  I can chew it up, eat it, swallow it...and then shortly after eating, I'm ill.  My chest is tight, I'm gurgling, etc., but not enough to run to the bathroom and PB (as was the case in the olden days of trial and error while learning the LapBand and it's effect on my stomach).

Oh, no.  The "ill" feeling will last quite awhile.  Take today for instance - I made some lemon pepper pork loin chops and ate 5.2 ounces.  Great source of protein!  I ate that...hmm...maybe about 2:30pm?  I can't drink for awhile, I'm feeling stuck, but not forced to go PB...so I try to go work out for a bit at the gym to help the feeling pass.  I've found that it's either that or taking a nap (which I had already done earlier today) to let the food digest.  By 7pm, I'm still not feeling better...and the few sips of water I had at the gym weren't helping the situation.

Now at 8pm?  I finally feel better...only because I finally threw up a good portion of that pork loin about half an hour ago.  That seems to be my ritual - eat, feel uncomfortable for hours, then throw up and feel better.  It's not like I ate too much, too fast, etc. - I remember when my Band would tell me instantly when I had done that.  No, now I must suffer for hours before I get any release.  I try to keep the food down, I really do - but it seems to be easier to just let it come out hours after I've eaten when I can tell the food isn't digesting.

I read today that food actually passes through the Band within a few minutes, although what I'm throwing up is just regurgitated food - no stomach acid.  Hmm.  From the reading I've been doing, it seems that my acid reflux, PB'ing and etc. of the last few months could easily be explained by a slipped band.  I guess I'll find out on Tuesday!

Although, I'd really rather not go through a corrective surgery...at this point, if my Band has slipped?  I think I'll ask if they can just drain the damn thing and see how it goes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hello from Virginia!

I realize it's been awhile since I've updated, but there hasn't really been any weight loss/LapBand news to post!  I left California on July 1st, stayed at my man's house in WV for a couple of weeks, then started my new job in Virginia on July 15th!  I moved into my own apartment on July 28th, but the movers didn't get here with my stuff until yesterday...so now I'm a couple of weeks into the new job (LOVING it!) and starting to settle in to Northern Virginia (or "NoVa" as it's referred to here).  Life has been stressful, as moving generally goes, but I'm happy to finally be able to cook for myself again...I'm going grocery shopping in just a minute!

My LapBand has been absolutely horrible.  Solid foods, in general, are murder on my system.  I've been PBing just about everything I've consumed other than frappuccino's, frappe's, etc. - I know these aren't great nutritional items for my system, but I was starving for SOME kind of calorie/energy for my body.  I've been living off of liquids, for the most part, and the occasional crunchy food that my band would tolerate.  It's really been ridiculous, and I know I'm greatly malnourished at this point.

The bright spot on the horizon is that I have a colleague in the next town over who had the surgery years ago and has referred me to a wonderful doctor and practice that she loves - I see them on Tuesday!  They know about the horror that has been my LapBand since, seemingly, 2011 began, so they're putting me through tests at their surgery center, counseling with the nutritionist, adjustment if needed, etc. on Tuesday...I'm to plan for a five hour visit!  I'm glad that a doctor is finally LISTENING to me and wants to get this issue fixed just as much as I do.  It's been far too long, and living paranoid of each bite you take for fear of another acid-filled vomit episode is no way to live.

I've also got my scale back up and running (haven't seen that since I left California either, since it was in a box), and I'm stoked to see I was down to 223.0 this morning - my lowest ever!  My goal of 200 by my 31st birthday (August 28th) isn't realistic anymore, but my final goal of 169 might be doable by the end of 2011!  That requires a loss of about 2.5 pounds a week, so we'll see how it goes!  My new apartment complex has a great gym, I'm cooking for myself again (as soon as I get to the grocery store) and my bodybugg is on, charged and ready to go!  I'm excited for the promises that Virginia holds for me in general, but stoked to finally be able to move forward on this journey again!