Monday, August 29, 2011

10 days and counting

I have a doctor's appointment for this Wednesday to get cleared for surgery.  My surgery center contacted me today, and I am right on track =)  Yeay!

I told the lady I'm not digging the liquids, and she said to just think of how worth it the liquid diet will be in the end.  In reality, I get it.  After surgery, I'll only be allowed liquids, but it is really hard.  I think it's harder now because I started a substitute position, and everyone I work with eats while they work, or eats out, or the grab and go method.  Not cool.

All in all, today went well.  I had two meals liquid, one meal not.  I will admit, my one meal wasn't the best, but it consisted of a salad and a sandwich.  With the people I was out with today, it could have been much worse =/

- Until next time.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pre-Op Liquid Diet = No bueno

There are a few things I was told to do prior to surgery, and have a pre-op checklist.  One of them is a two week liquid diet.  I interpreted it as an all liquid diet, and to make sure I intake lots of protein.

I start my morning with a protein shake.  I drink water all day.  Another protein shake.  More water, and guess what...another protein shake.  I brought in some chicken broth to switch things up a bit, and just felt like I was starving.  I managed to call in about it, and they told me I may not be having enough protein.  They also told me I may have one small low-cal/high protein meal per day.  Thank goodness.  My jaw wants to chew!  My best friend gave me an idea of utilizing sugar free gum during the day to try and psych myself out that I'm eating even though I'm not.  It's an idea I plan to use.

I'm hoping to get down to one meal per day, and then as I get closer to surgery, go to all liquid.  From what I interpret, the all liquid diet really helps with the surgery and shrinking of the liver.  I'm also in the process of quitting smoking.

I used to be a heavy smoker, then I just kind of stopped for a while.  Now I smoke socially (usually while drinking), or when I'm stressed.  For whatever reason, I have been craving them lately, which is not like me.  For anyone who has smoked, when you crave it, there's not a real supplement for it.  I used to supplement food for a smoke, but that's not really an options; and no liquid I put in my mouth is going to cure that fix.  I'm hoping the gum will also help with that.  My Mother thinks it is me wanting something in my mouth, and since I'm not eating really at all, I'm now wanting to smoke.  Could be.

Other things on my checklist include visiting a doctor for clearance, and I can't seem to get in touch with anyone; so frustrating.  Monday morning I plan to get on the phone and make it happen.  Through them I should finish up the majority of the other requirements.

I chose this time in my life to go forward with the lapband since I am a full-time Graduate student who is not currently working.  I got picked up for a long term subbing position that will go through Christmas time.  I am excited as the money will be great, but thinking I may get overwhelmed.  I let them know the dates I would need off, and they agreed; but I'm concerned that I will be swamped with working the next few weeks until surgery that I will not be able to complete the pre-op stuff; which means no surgery.

I am trying to keep optimistic, and I know I can find time to make all of this happen.  It's amazing to me that in 12 days I will be going in for surgery.  I am excited, I am a little nervous, but my husband is SUPER supportive and when I get nervous, he reminds me of my excitement.

I've also been reading tons of blogs, and watching video blogs, and we even found some partners who have blogged for my husband to watch.  I know I have an amazing husband, but I hope he can handle everything that is coming up for us; and I think we can do this together.

- Until next time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Expanding my Support Group.

Part of my lap-band journey included a recommendation by my doctor to have a great support group of family and friends.  When I officially decided to go ahead with my lap-band, I only told my husband and my best friend (who lives 1,550 miles away).  When I meet with my doctor, he frequently asks me about my support group, because for a while it stayed as my husband and my best friend.  Once my surgery date was set, I was told to expand my support circle.

I started by telling a few close friends, but both of them live almost 7 hours away from me.  My doctor explained that I needed people I see daily, to help me with the day to day emotions or break downs that I may have.  He explained that the weight loss journey (lap-band or not) could at times be very emotional, and he recommended me to expand my circle more.

I began by telling my Mother.  I wanted to tell her first before my sisters because I didn't want her to feel as if I waited to tell her last.  I tried to find her, to talk to her in person, but she called instead.  I told her over the phone, and she wasn't sure how to react when I told her.  The response I got was better than I expected, as I expected her to be completely against it, and to bicker about it.  By no means was it a great reaction, but she had lots of questions.  I answered every question that she had, and all of my reasons she had a different option to offer me.  I explained to her that I was definite about this, and she said she would be as supportive as she could, but we would agree to disagree.  I'll take it.

My sister-in-law and I are very close, and she walked into my Mom's house as I was getting off the phone with her, so I asked to talk to her as well.  Her reaction was very similar to my Mom's.  We agree to disagree.  It was hard to tell her because her reaction was she thought this was a cop out, that I wasn't putting forth every effort to get a hold of my weight loss and she worried that I thought this would fix it.  I know this will not fix it, and I won't wake up magically 80, 50, or even 10 pounds lighter.  I explained my reason of utilizing the lap-band as a tool to assist me in my weight loss journey.  She wants to be as supportive as she can be, but we also agree to disagree.

Next on my list was my oldest sister, and she was very supportive.  She agrees that if this is something I want to do, I should go for it.  I then tried to get in touch with another sister of mine, but we've been playing phone tag for the last week and a half, and tonight I was finally able to tell her.  My Mother beat me to it.  We talked about it, and not much was really said about it.

It's hard for me to want to tell my entire family, as we all struggle with weight and food.  We love food, and it can at times be the focal point of our family gatherings.  I also know that my extended family, and sometimes my immediate family, can be pretty judgmental, especially when it comes to weight and weight loss options.  There was a point where one of my sisters grabbed a hold of her weight and is doing great keeping it off; but another sister accused her of doing drugs.  It's a very love/hate relationship in our family with weight, and jealousy of weight loss.

I know that I am not as big as some of my family members, but I don't want to continue getting bigger.  I want to grab the bull by the horns and get myself in check.  I want to use the lap-band as a tool to guide me in portion control, better eating habits, and how to sustain a healthy weight.  If I wanted something overnight, I would have opted for plastic surgery.  Lipo the fat out, trim, tuck, whala overnight hottie...or I'd better be for what plastic surgery costs.

I have overcome another check list item in my pre-op journey, and have a few more to-do list items left.

- Until next time.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sleep Study & EGD complete.

I headed down to LA to complete a sleep study, which was pretty bizarre.  I show up, check in, and they get my vitals.  After the process, they checked my airway in my arms and legs, and then sent me to my room.  I completed some paperwork, as well as the paperwork for the EGD, and then they started hooking me up.

Wires everywhere.  One near each eye, one on each side of my forehead, two on my chin, one behind each ear, one on each shoulder, one in the middle of my chest, and four throughout my hair.  All of them were put into this cream then placed and then taped.  As well as one microphone taped to my neck, a heart monitor on my right index finger, and all of these wires are plugged into what looks like a crazy over sized remote control.  Then they tell you goodnight.

Who can sleep with all of that hooked up to them?  It was super awkward.  They put me to sleep (lights out) at a quarter until 11.  I didn't sleep that well, and woke up multiple times throughout the night, which is not normal for me.  Usually I only have time falling asleep, not staying asleep.

Then bright and early at 6 am, they wake you up.  Yeay.  Got ready for my EGD, and I was doing fine until I was put on my bed with the IV in my arm, then I got nervous and weirded out.  I've never been under anesthesia, and it actually is nothing to be scared of.  The nurses and doctors I dealt with today were great, as well as a great sense of humor, and made you feel super comfortable.

I got wheeled into the room where they were going to do the EGD, I closed my eyes, they told me I would be falling asleep, and it just happened so fast.  I had my eyes closed and I could lightly hear them talking, and asking me if I was ok, and I couldn't talk, couldn't move my mouth, and then I was just out.  I woke up wheeled elsewhere, and learned that I talk about food as I come out of my fuzzy state.  Not sure why, but I was starving when I woke up, so perhaps that's why. My throat has been a bit sore throughout the day, but I feel completely fine.  I was beyond dehydrated all day, and I'm not sure if this plays a role in that.

A few things I know to change for next time.  First, don't wear flip flops.  It's really hard to wear booties over flip flops, and when you're resting on the beds they have, flip flops are uncomfortable.  Plus, you can't wear socks with flip flops, and I think socks are a good thing to wear.  Second, when bringing a change of clothes, remember to bring all aspects of the clothes...I forgot the under shirt and other items, which lead me to wear my sleep study (aka pajamas) all day.  Oh well.  I think those are the main ones.

I need to find out what else is expected of me before my lap-band on September 8th.  I know that I have to see a doctor and get cleared for surgery, other than that, I'm unclear.  I'm both excited and nervous, but time is flying by, and I hope everything is done and cleared before September 8th.

- Until next time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sleep Study coming up.

Tomorrow I am headed to a trip down to LA to conduct a sleep study.  I have to check in later in the evening, so my husband and I are hoping to go down early, and kind of take a look of the town.  The last time I was in LA was for my bachelorette party/girls weekend, which was really nice.  I'm not sure if my husband's ever been to LA or not to tell you the truth.

The sleep study is only a concern because I have a hard time falling asleep.  Last night I went to bed around 4 am, and the night before that was 3 am.  I'm known to stay up all hours of the night, even if I have to get up early in the morning.  It's a bit annoying at times.  I'm hoping that I just need a new schedule and nothing is wrong with me.  We'll see; tonight my goal is to be in bed before midnight, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Then Saturday morning when I wake up, I go straight over to the EGD/endoscopy.  They're hoping I'll be awake around 7/7:30 am so they can start prepping me.  How many people who have sleeping disorders actually wake up at 7 am?  Just curious.  I know when I make it to bed anytime after 3 am, I usually don't wake up until 9 or 10 am; later if I had the time to sleep in.  There are days where I literally waste the day sleeping, which doesn't help the cause of not getting to bed at a decent hour.  Even on days where I get minimal sleep, I'm still up until about 2 am, then I'm exhausted.

Every night seems to be a battle with forcing myself to go to sleep.  It's frustrating, and overwhelming, but hopefully nothing is wrong with me and it's just me needing to be on a schedule.

Saturday's EGD will be my first experience going under anesthesia, and I am slightly nervous about that.  Since I'm a paranoid person in general, anesthesia scares me.  Even though the doctor's always say they've done XYZ amount of surgeries, and 100% of their patients have woken up...what if I'm the one that doesn't?  Crazy thinking, I'm aware.  I'm not as worried as I originally was, because I trust that I'll be fine.

- Until next time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Surgery is Scheduled - 09/08/11.

Some background on myself-

I'm a 26 year old female, living in California, who has struggled with weight issues throughout my entire life.  I'm 5' tall, and currently at my highest weight.  I remember when I first broke 200 pounds (at 5'), I was it's beyond the 200, and I'm at a point where I'd be happy being 200 lb's again. 

Those who see me think that I do not look like I weigh that much, and I frequently hear from the doctors and nurses that I "carry my weight well".  Is that a polite way of calling me fat?

I did a lot of yo-yo dieting throughout my entire life, and over the past 6 months- year I have changed my eating habits, and even began steady exercising.  I'm learning my biggest obstacle is myself, and my lack of will power.  I've been consistently gaining about 10-15 pounds a year over the last few years; and that worries me.

Another concern was getting pregnant.  I current have zero children of my own, although my husband and I have a step-daughter who lives with us full time.  In the next year, we were planning to begin trying to have a baby.  The thought of getting pregnant to put more weight on scared me.  I didn't want to gain weight, then have a baby, then within the year gain weight again should we try for a second child.  I had a fear that I would end up being 300 lb or close to, before being able to do anything about my weight.

I started to research different tools for weight loss, and lap-band did catch my eye.  I've done some research for the last 6 - 8 months, and became very interested in it.  I began researching it on my own, and then brought my husband into the research over the last few months.  It took a lot of convincing for my husband, but after meeting with the doctor that would be performing my surgery, he is also on board.

My husband and I attended a seminar, where the majority of the questions that we had were answered.  Then we were able to talk to the doctor one on one, and got our other questions out of the way.  One of our main questions was whether or not I would be able to get pregnant while on the lap-band system; the answer is yes.

Once we decided we were on board, we began the process.  In late July 2011, I decided I was ready to commit to the lap-band process.  I had a telephone interview with a psychologist on July 29th; which was the start to my process.  Then on August 1st I received a phone call to schedule a telephone meeting with a nutritionist, which happened on August 3rd.

Since I have a really hard time sleeping, the doctor recommended that I attend a sleep study; which is scheduled for this Friday, August 19th.  Then on Saturday, August 20th I will be attending an EGD.  From what I understand they will be putting me under anesthesia and putting a camera down my throat.  I'm still not 100% clear on what it is, but they sent me more information via email today.

I received my phone call last Friday, August 12th, that my surgery date is scheduled for Thursday, September 8th.  My husband and I have some anxiety and apprehension because of how fast it seems to be happening; but I am excited.  I am hoping that the lap-band will be a great tool in helping me get to a comfortable weight.  I am looking at it as a tool to help me with my portion control, my lack of self will, and to aid me to a healthier lifestyle.

I was glad to hear that the changes I have made over the last year in my eating habits are good changes; but the main concern I got in my feedback was my portion control (or lack there of).

I will update as my adventure continues.

- Until next time.