Tuesday, March 4, 2014


So I had my surgery on Thursday to remove my lapband.  

I'm in full force recovery mode now.  I'm trying to walk as much as possible as that has seemed to help with my post op pain.  I get tired very quickly though so I'm glad I have the rest of this week off.

The surgery itself went really well.  My amazing surgeon Dr Church told me I had some scar tissue he had to remove, but also said it was completely normal.  He also told me something that worried me a little bit.  Apparently he had to "scrape" the tubing from my band off of my liver.  But again, he told me it's nothing to be too concerned about, so I'm trying not to think about it.

Saturday as I was removing my bandages, I got emotional when I looked at my incisions.  I think part of that was from my after effects from the anesthetic.  But part of me felt a sense of loss.  I missed my band...for the first time, I missed it.  When I first received my band, I felt I had received the biggest gift in the world...and I had.  I thought it would be my band and me forever against the world.  It helped me lose over 70 lbs!  I used my tool to its fullest potential.

Unfortunately, not all tools last forever.  

I am going to spend the next few months getting to know myself again.  I am going to start setting weekly and monthly goals and get my strength and stamina back.  

Moving forward!


Sunday, February 23, 2014


This last week has been kind of crazy.

I saw my surgeon for my follow up appointment on Thursday.  When he examined me, he discovered that I have a mild infection in my port area... He also told me my port is tipped inwards...possibly twisted.  This would be why I've had so much swelling and pain in my upper stomach area.

Like most general surgeons, he was blunt with me.  He told me he wanted to remove it sooner rather than later.  "How's next Thursday?" he quipped.  I sat there with my mouth open....ummmm...wow!  

That soon??!

Yep...that soon.

I'm feeling some mixed emotions.  I'm happy my pain will be over and I will finally be able to eat normally again.  But on the other hand...I'm feeling a slight sense of loss.

My band was a part of me.  I received it at a crucial time in my life...I needed it.  I worked my ass off to get it.

But I know now it's time to really show myself what I am made of.  I'm looking forward to getting my metabolism back...to have it return to normal.  I'm ready to be strong again, not just physically but emotionally.  

Thursday will be the beginning of a new chapter in my journey.  My journey to happiness and self-realization.  

Thank you to all of you who have been there for me...supporting me.  I appreciate each and every one of you.


Saturday, February 15, 2014


The last week has certainly been interesting.

The last time I saw my surgeon on January 24th, he gave me 0.4 cc's of a fill.  This us not that much, however in my case, it was more than enough.  

Last Saturday evening, I ate two bites of a rice cake and got stuck immediately.  I vomited 5 times before everything eventually settled down.  This led to my dietician putting me on a liquid diet when I saw her on Monday.  I was going yo be seeing Dr Church on the 20th and she thought it would be a good thing to do to gets things to settle down and reduce the inflammation in my esophagus.  

I lasted two days on the liquid diet.  By the time Wednesday came around, I couldn't even get coffee or water in.  I was told to head straight to the PLC ER if that was the case.  So I did.

I received IV fluids as I was quite dehydrated.  It's amazing how quickly dehydration settles in.  It was a harrowing experience for me to say the least.

After 9 hours, the surgical team came to assess me.  Two residents and an attending surgeon tried their best to find my port so I could get a de-fill.  They were unsuccessful.  After 7 pokes and prods of my belly with the needle, my surgeon pulled back the curtain and tried to do my de-fill.  It took him three tries to find my port.  He told me that it was tipped now and that's why it was such a difficult task.  It's never been an issue for me to get a fill/de-fill.

Dr Church told me he took out a full cc...today it feels as though he took everything out.  I ate tuna, chicken and shrimp yesterday without any issues.  I almost felt panicky...not having the restriction is a bit daunting.   It's new to me...I'm so used to everything getting stuck.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing, just weird.

I also want to give huge kudos to a nurse who took care of me on Wednesday.  I don't think nurses get enough credit for the hard work they do.  He was calm and caring the whole time I was there.  I will be sending an email to his supervisor, letting him/her know how much I appreciated him.

I'm seeing Dr Church this coming Thursday for a consult and to discuss the band removal.  I hope it's sooner rather than later!

Thank you everyone for your well wishes and show of concern the past few days.  Your support has been...incredible.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I've Sprung a Leak?!

I've been having some issues with my lap-band for a while now.  Some days I can barely get liquids down, some days I vomit every time I eat, and there have been some days when I can eat just about anything.  I've had my upper GI done, and when I saw my surgeon this past Friday, he noticed that I was "wide open" meaning I had virtually no restriction in my band.  

"I am pretty sure you have a slow leak somewhere" he said.  He then told me I would probably need more testing and then if that's the case, I would need my band replaced.

I have had a lot of time to think about things.  I have not been happy with my progress (or lack of) this past year.  I have constant burning in my esophagus, vomiting weekly, and weight gain.  

I have talked to my dietician, my surgeon, my internist and my therapist.  With their advice, I have made the difficult decision to get my band removed.  Permanently.

This has not been an easy decision for me.  I can't blame the band entirely for my issues.  It has helped me eat smaller portions, eat slower and in turn, lose weight.  I do not for a second regret my decision for getting it in the first place.  My journey with my band has had its ups and downs, but for the most part, it's been a rewarding experience - and I've learned so much about myself.

I'm looking forward to this next phase in my journey.  I'm excited!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's Time

It's late November...and the Christmas season is almost upon us.

Every Christmas since my mom passed away has been a hard time for me.  I won't lie - I've been a miserable, negative person to be around.  For the past four Christmas's I have had a hard time being cheery and just haven't been in the mood to celebrate the Christmas spirit.

This year seems different.

I woke up one morning last weekend and just decided that enough was enough.  Yes, I miss my mom terribly at this time of year, but really...it is time to move on.  It's time to be happy and make the most of this season.  We haven't even had a tree the past four years because I just felt too sad to even look at one.

Today when we went grocery shopping, I walked myself over to the seasonal department at the WalMart and picked out a wreath that I am proud of putting on our door.  Next week - I am planning on picking out a tree! 

I am proud of myself - to come this far.  I will never forget my mom - especially at this time of year, but I know in my heart, I have finally accepted the fact she is no longer here and I am okay with it. 

Now...an update on my band...I saw my dietician a couple of weeks ago.  She and I went through my food journals with a fine tooth comb, and while yes, I have a day here and a day there where I went off plan, there is no solid reason as to why I have gained the amount of weight I have.  She suggested I see a specialist in Internal Medicine to see if there is another reason behind it.  She also suggested I see my surgeon - which I have. He thinks I MAY have a small slip in my band - and set up an Upper GI for December 5th.  If this is the case, I will need the band removed. 

I've also been doing an awesome boxing class for the past couple of months.  My friend Angela and I have been doing it together!  We both keep each other motivated each class - in fact, we are the only beginners left in the class since the beginning - I am so proud of us!

The last time I saw my doctor, he began to get on me about my weight.  I told him I was frustrated and that I would start seeing my dietician on a regular basis - that I am taking responsibility for my gain, but there is another reason behind it too.  As I was leaving the exam room, he shook my hand and looked at me and said "Please don't give up."  I looked at him in surprise and said "No, I won't give up - I have come WAY too far to give up."

That is all.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Catching My Breath

Life has been pretty good lately...

In late June, Brian found out he got a job in the Shipping/Receiving Department at CLS... In the same building where I work!  We spent most of our holiday week preparing him for his first day.  I am so happy for him as it has been such a positive move for him... Besides the 6 dollar a hour increase in pay in what he was making at WalMart, he's being treated with respect...something he rarely got in the 21 years he put into WalMart.  For the first time ever...last week he told me he loves his job!  It was nice to see him smile again.

I ended up not going to the gym for two weeks either...which is very unlike me, but it felt good to relax and take some time to catch my breath.  I haven't done that in so long, and obviously it was just what I needed.  I'm also starting to feel like my old self again.  I'm feeling calmer and happier.

My weight hasn't changed since I last posted, but I haven't gained, and that's the most important thing.  Tomorrow I am planning on starting my 5 day pouch test again and get right back on track!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reset, Recharge, Re-Commit!

The title says it all.

It's been a roller coaster of a ride the last few months.  I haven't been feeling great, both physically and emotionally.  I've been gaining weight and not feeling good about myself. 

I was in denial.  Up until about three weeks ago.

When I got out of bed on a Monday morning, my knees gave out on me.  I literally had to crawl to the bathroom.  I think this was my "bottoming out point."  As I sat on the floor in my bathroom, bawling my eyes out, all I could think of was how could I have let myself get this way again?  Why won't my knees work?  Oh ya that's right...you fat piece of Sh$t...you did it again - you were given this opportunity and have screwed it all up and gained all the weight back that you lost.

This was not the truth.  I knew deep down inside I hadn't gained all the weight back.  I knew I had gained some, but refused to get back on the scale.  I was fed up with myself.

But I continued to eat crap for the next three days.

Then I did something.

I reached out.  I reached out for help.  As soon as I got to work that day I called my lapband psychologist. I was lucky to get in to see her the following Monday. 

The appointment went as well as can be expected.  She listened to me as I poured out my fears and anger to her.  Anger at myself, and fear about a loved one.  I told her I was ashamed of myself and how I let things get out of control.  She encouraged me to keep going and to start thinking of myself again.  She also encouraged me to book an appointment with one of the dieticians and for a fill.

I left her office feeling calmer - which was good.  I hadn't felt calm in about four months, so this was progress.

I saw the dietcian the next week.  I told her I had gained some weight and that I needed to go over my food logs and get back on track.  She agreed.  When the end of the appointment was nearing, I asked her - "Don't you want to weigh me?"  She didn't think it was necessary and thought it would upset me.  I told her I wanted to be held accountable for my gain - so I stepped on the scale.

I had gained 40 lbs.  Exactly.

I turned to her and told her that no, I wasn't happy, but that it was time for me to move forward.  No more looking back.  From now on, I was going to be honest with myself, log all my food and keep my exercise up.  She liked my plan.

So did I.

I talked to a few other lapbanders online and they encouraged me to start the 5 day pouch test.  It was to help me get back on track and start using my band the way it's supposed to - like a tool. 

At the end of the pouch test, I lost 11 lbs!  I felt great of what I had accomplished. 

But most of all...I felt in control again.

I also saw my surgeon on Friday for a fill - while he seemed a bit disappointed with my gain - he was happy to see that I was using all of the resources made available to me to be successful.

I am so fortunate to have the support I do have.  I just needed to reach out for help.  I'm not really sure why I didn't earlier - I think I was just comfortable lying to myself and trying to stay oblivious to what was happening.

I'm now down a total for the week of 12 lbs.  I am so happy with myself - proud of myself.  I'm also excited that my dietician "hooked me up" with another member in the Weight Management Program.  It's awesome that we can draw support from each other, and I'm looking forward to getting to know her more.

A big thank you to my lapband team, my fellow lapbanders and lapbanders to be!  Without you, I would probably still be sitting on my couch, too ashamed to reach out for help.

And have made a new committment to myself to NEVER go down this path again.  I will reach out for help when I need it and use my band - my tool - the way it's supposed to be!