Onmywaytobeauty's Blog

Challenges…

May 17, 2011
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Well, it’s been a *long* while since I’ve updated here.  Sorry about that, my few readers.  Since my last post, I’ve had a few challenges.

Let me tell you something that I don’t think many people know.  I certainly didn’t know it… Anyway, when you’re sick, like head cold sick, sinus infection, whatever–your stomach lining gets inflamed!  Who know, right?  Well, back in January, I got a stomach bug and some sort of cold/flu thing.  Needless to say, I was puking my guts out (hard to do with the band, let me tell ya), plus coughing and having inflamed lungs, sinus pressure, etc.  And I couldn’t eat.  Every time I put something in my mouth and swallowed, it just got stuck, and I had to throw up.  Fun times.  So, I called up my bariatric surgeon’s office and made an appointment.  He took out 1cc of saline from my band, and I quit looking like one of the Olson twins.  A few weeks later, I went back and he put it back in.  I got down to 140 pounds!  Woo hoo!!!  I’d been fluctuating between 138 and 140 for several months and was starting to think that I was finally going to be be able to maintain my weight.  5 pounds below my goal.  Awesome!

About a month and a half ago, I started coughing at night.  A dry, hacking, take-my-breath-away cough.  I took over the counter medications, used a humidifier/vaporizer… nothing helped.  It kept me up all night.  But it was just a cough.  A few weeks ago, I started coughing during the day.  Still not a big deal.  Just a cough.  Around that time, I started to just not be hungry anymore.  I was still maintaining my weight.  I just wasn’t hungry.  Then, I started to not be able to eat.  We’d sit down to dinner, I’d fix my plate with about 1/4 cup of food, and take a bite or two, then have to go throw up.  What the heck?  The coughing got worse, the food consumed got less.  About a week and a half ago, I couldn’t keep down liquids.   I finally broke down and went to the doctor, which was a hard choice, since we don’t currently have health insurance.  He gave me an inhaler, some antibiotics (which helped a ton with my sinus infection), and some cough meds.  Nothing stopped the coughing, and over the weekend I really got sick.  The meds made me lose what little appetite I had, and I started throwing up even more.  I went back on Monday.  He said I had a stomach bug and gave me a shot for nausea and the same medicine in pill form.  Well, let me tell you, that shot knocked me on my butt.  In about 30 seconds.  The receptionist had to get me a wheel chair and my mom had to push me out to the car.  Good thing she was with me, because I never would have made it home.  Oh, I forgot to mention that between my appointment on Thursday afternoon and the one on Monday morning, I lost 5 pounds.  I still couldn’t eat or drink anything.  Tuesday afternoon, my sister dragged my butt to the ER.  I called my surgeon’s office (Dr. Monash) from Tucson, AZ (I really miss that office), and told them what was going on, and my surgeon called me himself.  When I told him what was going on, he told me to have them take all of the saline out of my band.  Apparently, when you have a stomach bug and a sinus infection, your stomach really gets inflamed!  So, they admit me to the ER, I go and get a gown on and sit on the bed, waiting.  The doc comes in, I tell him what I need, and he tells me the ER isn’t equipped to do that!!!  WHAT?  I told you what was wrong and what I needed when I checked in, again when I went to Triage, and you admitted me, knowing there was nothing you could do?  Remember, my friends, I have no insurance.  I was mad, and I was scared.  By this time, it’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve had any real sustenance.  The ER doc told me to call and make an appointment… gee, thanks.  Because I can wait another week to eat.  So, near tears, I told him that I couldn’t wait that long, and don’t they have a bariatric surgeon in the hospital?  Of course, they did.  He went and made a call, and my darling hubby came and sat next to me and just prayed that, somehow, I could get the help I needed.  About 10 minutes later, the doc came back into the room and told me that the doctors up in the bariatric ward were getting ready to leave, but they would wait for me.  I was discharged and wheeled up to the 6th floor on the other side of the hospital.  Filled out some paperwork.  Oh, I forgot to tell you that my sister went to Sonic and got me a shake.  I drank it, most of it, but it took me over an hour, and I felt so stuffed.  This is a couple hours later, and I still have that stuffed turkey feeling… So, anyway, I’m laying on the exam table, the doc took out 1cc of saline and had me sit up to drink some water.  Danny pipes in that my surgeon from Tucson (whom I miss!!!) said to have them take it all out.  He has me lay back down and pulls the rest of the saline out of my band.  11cc’s.  As he does this, I feel that shake, and probably the rest of the water and fluids I’d tried to consume throughout the day, go gushing into my stomach!  It was the strangest feeling!  Like a dam had burst.  It was crazy.  So, I was sitting there while he filled out some stuff on the computer, and there was a poster on the wall about symptoms of the band being too loose, just right, and too tight–one of the symptoms of it being too tight: night cough.   The doc told me that most people who have all the saline taken out will gain 10-15 pounds in about 2 weeks.  My mentality, at the time, was I could use 10-15 pounds… I was skin and bones.  Seriously.  Not well.  Now, a week later, I’m up 10 pounds.  Trying to not freak out.  It was necessary.  And I look healthy.  I don’t think it would kill me to lose a few more pounds and tighten/tone my muscles (which will probably make me drop another pant size or two–woohoo!), but not by starvation.  I *like* food!  lol  So, I’m going to give it a couple of weeks and see how I do on my own before making an appointment to get a fill.  We’ll see.  I’ll be posting pictures soon.


The Search for Protein

April 20, 2010
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When I first got the gastric band, I was told that I need to consume 60-80 grams of protein per day.  I asked my surgeon if he had any that he recommended, and he told me to try Protein Shots from Walmart.  I did, and I about puked in my van…  Sure, it had 28 grams of protein in one little vial, but if I couldn’t keep it down, what was the point of drinking it?  It was disgusting.  The thought of it makes me gag a little…  So, I kept searching.  I was supposed to have only 5 grams of both sugar and carbs per serving of food in the beginning, which is NOT an easy thing to accomplish!  And most of the protein shakes out there are chock full of carbohydrates and sugars.  So, I did a little research and found something awesome.  Syntrax Nectars.  Zero sugar, zero carbs, only 90 calories per serving and at least 20 grams of protein per serving, depending on which flavor you get.  And here’s the best part–THEY’RE GOOD!!!  20 grams of protein, but they don’t have that overwhelming protein smell and flavor.  There are a bunch of different flavors, too.  Plenty to chose from, so there’s something for everyone.  Man, I feel like a spokesperson for the company!  But they’re GOOD, so I don’t care!  🙂  My favorites are the cappuccino and Caribbean cooler flavors.  I mix the cappuccino with milk, but the rest I would use water with.  They mix completely with a spoon, so you don’t have to have a shaker or put them in the blender.  You can order samples of each of them for $1.99 at http://www.vitalady.com.  I haven’t been able to find them in stores yet, but I know you can order from vitalady or from Amazon.com.  I haven’t checked, but I’m sure there’s a website to the company, as well.  I’ve tried other protein drinks, and they’re either high in calories/carbohydrates/sugars, etc., or they just taste disgusting.  The GNC 100% Whey Protein shakes are bland, and they have sugar in them.  The Syntrax drinks are sugar free and so flavorful!  It’s amazing.  I don’t know how they do it.  I do suggest that you order samples and try them to see what you like before you go and spend $30 on a 2-pound container and risk not liking what you bought.  And, if you’ve had or are having bariatric surgery, keep in mind that your tastes change after surgery.  So don’t go and buy a ton of stuff before hand, because you may end up not liking it after you have surgery.

So, there’s my two cents on protein drinks.  If anyone else has found something that tastes good and is good for you, please let me know!  😀


And the Journey Continues…

April 2, 2010
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As of right now, I’m down 41 pounds!  59 to go before I see if I want to keep going.  Only 16 pounds away from being in the 100’s!  I’m wearing clothes I haven’t worn in ages.  I guess one good thing about never throwing anything away is that I have plenty to wear between now and my goal weight and wont have to waste money on the “in between” clothes.

My Emma just turned 4 at the end of March.  She amuses me.  When I first had my surgery, I wasn’t allowed to lift her or her sister for 4 weeks.  That was so hard for all of us.  Emma didn’t really understand and would get upset, and I decided to show her that I had “boo boos”.  She saw my incisions when they were still pretty fresh, and she understood that it hurt, and she had to be careful not to hurt me more.  Now, every once in a while when I lift her or squeeze her tightly against me, she’ll tell me to be careful not to hurt the boo boos on my belly.  She wants to see them to make sure that they’re all better, and when I show her the scars, she asks me if it hurts and if I’m going back to the doctor.  She’s such a sweet girl, very concerned about the plight of others.

For the record, I’m healing well.  Of course I have scars, but they’ll fade eventually.  I’m losing weight steadily.  Not as fast as I would like, but it’s coming off and staying off, and that’s really what matters.  I need to learn to have a little patience.  🙂

I still have a long road ahead of me, but I’m excited to see the progress I’ve made in just 2 months.  If I keep up this pace, I’ll accomplish my goal in another 3 or 4 months, which will be a miracle!


Impatience…

February 26, 2010
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I don’t know about anyone else who may have gotten the Lap-Band or Realize Band or any other kind of gastric weight loss surgery, but I am so impatient!  It’s been 1 month tomorrow since my surgery, and as of today, I’ve only lost 21 pounds.  Sure, to those of you who can eat whatever you want, that seems like quite an accomplishment, but when you’re eating about 500 calories a day and working out 3-5 times a week, it’s nothing!  Not that I think a 21 pound weight loss is anything to stick my nose up at, but come ON!  Almost all of my food intake is protein, low calorie, low carb, low fat… the pounds and inches should be melting off of me, and they’re just… not. 

I’m also very impatient for my first fill!  I haven’t been to the doctor since my follow-up visit, less than a week after my surgery, and I’ve got questions, sure, but I’m so ready to get my first fill.  I’m hoping that it’ll jump-start my system again.  I should not be plateauing so soon!  My appointment is Tuesday morning, and I’m looking forward to what his scale says, and getting some questions answered.  I’ve been journalling everything I eat and my workout schedule, and I’m hoping he can point out to me some things I’m doing right and especially what I’m doing wrong.  I’m almost addicted to the gym, though.  Really looking forward to it!  Today’s my “last chance workout” before my actual weigh-in tomorrow morning.  Probably shouldn’t have gotten on the scale today, but I just couldn’t help myself.  I think the thing that bothers me the most about my small amount of weight loss is that the first 15 pounds came off in about a week.  That’s right.  A week.  But my clothes are fitting me differently, and people have told me that they can see a difference.  And the ones who know I got surgery are definately watching! 

So, I guess that’s it.  I just really needed to vent, and my poor readers are the ones who have to suffer it. Sorry!


Update

February 7, 2010
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Hello, all! I just wanted to give you an update on my surgery and weight loss. As of yesterday, I have lost a total of 17 pounds since my surgery a week and a half ago. Since my appointment to submit my weight for approval to the insurance company on December 22, 2009, I have lost 26!!! Needless to say, I’m very excited and pleased with my progress!!! Incisions are healing well, and I’ll soon be able to start a vigorous workout regimine. As it is, I can really only walk right now, which isn’t all that exciting for me! I’m looking forward to doing some Turbo Jam! So far, I’ve had people tell me that my face looks thinner, and I’ve been able to fit into some clothes that I haven’t worn in a while. As for food… I’m currently eating “pureed” foods and drinking protein shakes. Scrambled eggs, ricatta cheese, unsweetened apple sauce. Stuff like that. I’ve also made some vegetable soup, put it in the blender and adding a teaspoon of unflavored protein powder. My mom gave me the recipe (minus the powder) from Weight Watchers, and it’s really good. Most foods I’ve been eating still don’t quite mask the taste/smell of the unflavored powder, but this is really savory and seems to do the trick, and it’s so easy to make!! It’s a can of diced tomatoes, a can of green beans, a can of corn, a can of old fashioned veggie soup from Campbell’s, a can of potatoes (drained–I use the already diced ones), a can of mixed veggies (like Veg-All), and 2 cans of Hormel chili–one with beans, and one without. You just dump them all together in the pot and heat them up. It’s so good! And even after it’s been through the blender, and it’s about the consistency of thick cream of wheat (I add some water) and the protein’s been added, it’s STILL good! It amazes me. I had it for dinner last night, lunch and dinner today…
Right now, I’m in the market for some good-tasting protein shakes. I’ve got the GNC brand of chocolate and unflavored, but the chocolate is getting REALLY old. I’ve decided to scoop out a serving of the unflavored stuff and put a little in everything I eat, because I’m afraid I’m not getting enough protein. Yesterday, my hair came out in gobs every time I ran my hands through it…
Any ideas for good-tasting protein drinks would be appreciated! I tried the one my surgeon recommended, and it about made me throw up. So gross!!! I need some variety or I’m going to go crazy…


Approval

January 22, 2010
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Yesterday, I received notice from my surgeon’s office that I got APPROVED for ajustable gastric banding surgery!!!  They scheduled me right then for my pre-op appointment AND my surgery.  Guess when they are??  Go ahead, guess.  Oh, forget it.  You wont guess right, anyway!  The pre-op appointment was TODAY, this morning, actually.  I got weighed and got a 3-ringed binder full of pertinent information.  I was also given scripts for blood work and a chest xray.  FUN!  Not… 

Being that today is the 3rd Thursday of the month, the medical clinic on base was closed.  So I had to find somewhere else to go and get all this stuff done.  Of course, I’m used to being spoiled by the convenience of having the majority of my medical needs met on base, so I had no idea where to go.  I called the surgeon’s office and they gave me two different places to go… took a while both to find them and to get things done.  The blood work–wow–I really felt like I’d gone to visit with Vampires.  Several vials of blood, one of which was huge.  Felt like I was giving a pint and not just vials for lab work! 

All things considered, I would say that it all went well.  Even if it did take all day.  But I had to get it all done today because my surgery is WEDNESDAY!!!  So excited!!!  I have to be at the surgery center at 6:30 in the morning, but the staff at the surgeon’s office worked it out so that it’s outpatient, and I’ll start surgery at 7:30 and should be heading home by 9:30.  I’ll be posting before pics sometime next week, and I’ll post progress reports as frequently as I can.  I doubt I’ll be on the computer at all for a few days after the surgery.  I’ll be posting pictures and maybe measurments once a month.