Thursday, May 12, 2011

My New Friend

I have been getting a lot of questions as I tell more people about my lap-band procedure. The most obvious is why. Well that one  is the toughest, but it boils down to the fact that I had become out of control with my weight and as I near retirement I wanted to actually have a life after that and this was something that needed to be done to have that life. It was only done after lots of careful consideration to what my life would be like after doing this.

Next question, what is it exactly. Well this is it in a picture.
The band is placed about two inches below the beginning of my stomach. The port is in the center of my chest, just below my rib cage, under the xiphoid process for medical friends, and is where the doctor will add saline to control the size of my opening into the rest of my stomach. By managing the size of the opening I will get a feeling of fullness on less food. It also means that I have to be more careful about what and how I eat. Some foods are gone from diet because they are not processed well and won't pass through the opening. Most of those foods are not good for you anyway and therefore won't really be missed as they weren't helping to begin with. So right now my pouch is about the size of a large egg. It will expand some they tell to the point where I will be able to eat a small plate of food. I have to chew everything I eat really well and I have to eat slower. I had my first meal since surgery yesterday, an egg with a little turkey mixed in. That took 12 minutes to eat. For a former speed eater, one of my problems, that was a life time. But that allowed me to savor the flavor of each bite, an egg never tasted so good.

I will have to go in about every 5 weeks to weigh in and see how my weight loss is progressing. If I am not losing at the right rate despite doing all the right things more fluid will be added. If I am doing good at the level already in place they will leave the fluid at the level. Right now it is empty, but it is already having an effect. If they find that I am losing weight too quickly, then they will remove some fluid. I will be doing this over the next year and then once I reach my goal weight I will only need to go in once a year.

Protein is my new watch word. I have to eat protein first and then if I have room other things. So meat first then vegetables. No room for desert.

So that's pretty much my new friend. It is there for the rest of my life and will help me reach my goal weight and then maintain it. It will remind me when I over did it and it will punish me if I screw up. So no screwing up. I have begun to lose weight again after the surgery and overall feel pretty good. I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received from friends as I tell them about this. Also I have already noticed that my pants are loose and my shirts fit right. New clothes are in the future, as are many activities I couldn't or wouldn't do in the past because of my weight.

Feel free to ask me questions about my new life, I am getting better at talking about it and mind less and less each day.

SW: 352   CW:306  GW: 220

Saturday, May 7, 2011

2 Days Later.....

Well it has been 2 days since surgery and things are going well. I feel I am pretty lucky, I got pain meds at the hospital before I left but once home I switched to Tylenol. After a day of Tylenol I didn't feel to bad when I woke up in the morning so I decided to see how long I could go without. So here it is 48 hours post op and I am relatively pain free. I get  a twinge when I move but other than that it's not bad at all.

Last night I went for a walk with my wife. I was doing 60+ minutes a day right up to surgery, but last night was only 20 minutes and that was pretty tough. So it's sort of back to the beginning on things. Food, exercise and weight loss. Since the surgery I have somehow picked up two pounds. Not sure how that works being that all I am taking in is liquid, no food for 4 more days, but I am adding weight. From looking around the web, this isn't unusual, no explanation, but not unusual.

So I guess all things considered things are going well and I am pleased with things.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tomorrow is only a day away.....

Well this is my last night without a lap-band. I have my surgery tomorrow and for the first time I feel I am really ready for it. I think that I have come to grips with some of the issues I put in my own head and the others I am dealing with and starting to get a handle on.

My goal is to get back to "normal" as quickly as possible. I have a week of protein drinks and clear liquids and then I can start to add food back into my diet. I met with the Dr. on Monday and he said I looked grumpy and that I should go ahead an cheat and have some food since all I have had for the 10 days leading into the appointment were four protein drinks a day. I am going to have to find some other protein drinks because the ones from the doctor's office pretty much suck. I digressed there for second. So Monday night I got to eat a meal with Liz. Chicken, baked potato and salad. So good to actually chew something again and it really did improve my mood. So if I can survive the next week on liquids, then get back to foods I will be a happy man.

I have some early goals and some long term goals and the first early goal is to get back on meat quickly. I will have to experiment for a while and see what my new friend in my belly allows, but all indications are I should have no problems. Here's to hoping they are right.

SW: 352  CW:311.6  GW:220

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Here I Go.....

Well after spending a lot of time looking for an outlet or someone to express what I am going through this is where I am. Having seen several others who have made the decision to take control of their life and talked about this way I have decided to follow suit. What you read here is my story, it's not pretty and not something that I am really proud of. But if this goes as I hope, by the end of the journey I will be a better person.

I will be having surgery, lap-band, on May the 5th, 4 days from now. I am nervous, worried, anxious and feeling a lot of other things. This has been affecting my life and relationships since the day I made the commitment to do this.

I am worried about the changes I have to make. I know that I have to do this, I would like to live a long life and the path I was on was not getting me there.

Time for some honesty. I weighed 352 pounds on the 28th of February when I went to see the surgeon. I don't know if this was the heaviest I have ever been, but it is the documented heaviest. So that is my starting point. I have to face the reality of it. That made me morbidly obese. MORBIDLY OBESE. You would think those words alone would scare a person into doing something, but those words have been associated with me for many years and I never cared. I never saw myself as fat. I thought I was just a big guy. I would move up in clothing sizes and would chalk it up to getting older not fatter. Basically I was in a lot of denial about reality. I enjoyed life and all it offered. I ate to excess, made poor choices about what to eat and sat around a lot doing nothing that just added to the mess.

My wife would point out to me in various ways how I was becoming fatter and fatter and I just ignored it. For that I have to tell her I am sorry. She cared about me and tried to help me but I didn't listen. Self centered I guess is one way to look at it. Stupid is how I care to view it. So Liz, I am sorry for not listening and doing something sooner.

So I saw the surgeon and started towards this week's surgery. First steps were relatively easy. Classes with a dietician, meeting with a psychologist and taking a class that teaches you about the surgery and what to expect. It was after meeting with the dietician that reality set in. She told me about my pre and post-surgery diets. Man what a change. But at the time I thought I can handle this. It was after this though that I began to change. I realized that I was indeed fat,I realized that I had an addiction to food and I realized that I was afraid to change. But I didn't let people in on this, instead I became angry about it and that came out to others. Not a good thing obviously.

After meeting with the psychologist I learned that this was something that people on this path often face. It has taken me 45 years to get here and basically overnight I am changing everything. Still that doesn't excuse the anger I projected out towards people.

So now I am here, talking about my problem and sharing it with anyone who cares to look in. Mostly I hope that I can talk about this with others. Maybe I can get things out on here and then move out to talk about them with people in my world. Feel free to comment on anything I have to say. I welcome the feedback.

I will end each of these with some stats. SW (Starting Weight)  CW (Current Weight) GW (Goal Weight)

SW: 352  CW: 314.6  GW:220