Thursday, September 23, 2010

One week - Soft food!!!!

It's already been a week. I've made it thruogh the liquid diet phase. Woohoo!!!

Sooooo.... here's how I stand from a week ago:

341.6 pounds, down 11.4
Neck 19.25 inches - the same
Chest 57.75 inches - down 1 inch (down 2 inches from when I started this blog)
Waist 58.75 inches - down a quarter inch (down 3/4 inches from when I started this blog)
Hips 49 inches - the same (down 3.5 inches from when I started this blog)
Thigh 31 inches - the same.

I have put the scale up - so I won't know what I weigh now until next thursday when I pull it down again.

Did I mention the liquid diet is over?

Now it's soft foods for 2 weeks. I can have things like yogurt, scrambled eggs, pudding (no sugar of course), tuna. 5-6 small meals (4 ounces) per day. I still need to get in 60 grams of protein but now I can do it with real food rather than protein shakes (which get pretty nasty tasting after awhile).

I had my one week checkup which was more or less weigh me - they say I've lost 20 since pre-op, which was a week before the surgery. I think the pre-op thing was a bit high - but then of course I'd just eaten a fair sized meal right before - it was kind of my last hurrah at a buffet... so there were a few pounds of padding. So maybe based on my weight the morning of preop instead I'm thinking maybe the total would be 15 or 16 instead of 20.... but if they want to insist on 20, I'll take that.

It just dawned on me.... it's now been more than 50 pounds since I started this blog not quite 2 years ago. Wow. Looking forward to when i can say 100!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One day away from soft food.

My instructions actually say soft foods can start today, but I've got my post-op appointment tomorrow as well as soft foods class, so I'm going to hold out one more day to be on the safe side.

I continue to feel good. The shoulder aches off and on but nothing unbearable. If I knew that my shoulder would act weird like this would I have still done the surgery? In a heartbeat. If it must be a trade off, so be it, it's better than all the knee pain and such that I've had in the past year.

I got out for a good walk yesterday - took the 40 mph couch potato (the greyhound) along and went pretty leisurely - let the dog sniff around a lot more than usual while out walking. It felt really, really good. I just noticed that I'm not limping even slightly any more, I feel like I can walk pretty normal, and my knee doesn't catch while climbing steps. All very good, positive signs.

I'm thinking I should have looked more into the options for protein powders and tasted more different kinds. This stuff is some kind of mango flavor or something like that and when I checked it out to begin with it wasn't that bad. I guess it's still not too bad but, let me just say.... I'm going to be really glad when I start getting my protein through food again. The flavor has definitely gotten old on me.

I read somewhere I should hide the scale, only weigh myself every week or two. I'm considering it... okay, I suppose there's value to it. It is exciting though to see the weight dropping daily. I'm down to 346 already, a good 7 pounds from my pre-surgery weight. Sometimes I think I see a difference already in the mirror, but then I wonder if it's because I'm expecting to. Maybe the biggest test of whether there's a visual difference is when I go back to work Friday - people there haven't seen me since Tuesday, so if tehre's a real noticable difference I may hear about it then.

I feel like i'm already ready to get back to work... recuperating around the house gets boring after awhile.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Before I get much further: Before shot!

This is me, night before the surgery. Weight at that time, 353.

One barrier gone

My weight this morning: 349!!! That's a barrier I haven't been through in a few years.

I feel good. I did discover one side effect though: Shoulder pain of all things. My left shoulder was hurting as though I'd sprained it or something. I'd heard something mentioned to someone else while at the hospital about shoulder pain, so I did some research. Turns out that there are nerves in the diaphragm that are connected somehow to nerves in the shoulder. So if the diaphragm is hurting, it's the shoulder that says ouch.

Kinda weird huh?

One thing I read from a few people on forums is that they've used this as an early warning system of sorts. If they're getting to where they've overdone it or are close to doing so, they start to get a little gas right there in the diaphragm and the shoulder starts to ache.

I had just taken a drink of yogurt, possibly a bit too quickly and was feeling kind of full when the shoulder pain flared up, so it all makes sense. I'm okay with that though.... rather have an achy shoulder than be puking my guts out because I overdid it. Of course the key is not to overdo it so much eh?

Wondering how soon I break through to 340. I'm guessing.... a week from Monday? We'll see...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 2 - all these liquids

Today is my second full day on the lap band. I feel good.

My last prescription pain med was at midnight last night. At 10 I took some liquid ibuprofen and haven't had anything since and still have managed to feel pretty decent. So I think that I'm recovering pretty well on this.

Probably the biggest challenge on this is just keeping up with all the liquid stuff. My vitamins are all liquid. My fish oil is liquid -- yep, good ol cod liver oil. My protein is liquid. I'm having an easy time so far getting liquids down and can drink in 1-2 ounce amounts pretty well. It's just a challenge getting all this stuff down, especially when the liquid vitamins are not so tasty. The liquit protein shake gets old pretty quick as well.

I am glad the liquid diet phase is not a long one. Especially when everyone's getting to enjoy my wife's cooking but me. I have been able to branch into drinkable yogurt, a little milk, and even a sugar free popsicle.

Something very interesting about all this is that the day of surgery I got home and weighed about 6 pounds more than when I left. I may have mentioned that. But today with starting to get into a routine including the protein and such, that's allowing me to start getting the metabolism going. As of tonight I'm back to where I was the morning of surgery. I'm half way expecting to see myself break through the 350 mark by tomorrow. From there on, who knows eh?

I know, pretty boring post. Nice thing about this surgery recovery thing is I'm able to stay at home and not go in to work, meaing I can sit around and watch some football. That's always a good thing, yes?

Even though the protein and vitamin stuff are a bit awful tasting, I will have to admit that the whole liquid diet is not as bad as I first expected. That said, I'm looking forward to being able to get into soft foods in another few days.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lapband - 1 day... and counting

So here it is day one, life with a lapband.

Nothing exciting to report, which is a good thing. I still feel pretty good all things considered. There's still that dull ache where everything was done, but nothing that is difficult to live with.

I wish I'd grown accustomed in the past to sleeping on my back. I'm not too accustomed to it and right now that's about the only way I can sleep - If I try to lay on my side gravity goes to work and that causes some hurt.

I've gone up and down the steps a lot, such as using hte restroom etc. I'm surprised how easy it is to do so. I guess it's like a lot of things, just... surprised how well it's gone.

Okay, so far I've probably gained a pound since yesterday morning. I think from the IV bag and all the fluids and so far very little or no metabolism since I had pretty much nothing yesterday until after surgery. Walking around and getting my protein in will get that going here shortly.

Mixing liquid vitamins into a glass of water is a bad idea when you can only drink the water an ounce at a time. Nasty stuff I'm telling you.

So far I think I"m doing pretty good on the drinking as well as the protein. We'll see by the end of day.

Life is.... very different right now. In a good way. And a different way.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In and Out

So here I am tonight, sitting up at my dining room table with a somewhat clear head typing about the surgery. I can't get over how quickly they can do these things.

I feel good. I really had no idea what to expect having never had any surgery of any kind. But it all happened pretty quick - they put me under and next thing I know I wake up in post-op. In fact I don't even remember being put under.

I do remember waking up and wondering if they had done the surgery. First thing I notice is I'm not in the operating room. But then the next thing I remember is feeling like there was a clamp around my stomach... (I wonder why!). There was a fair bit of discomfort but not any kind of severe pain - the toughest part was that what pain there was would come when I breathe ... so there's no way to avoid that pain.

Let me say, Rose medical center in Denver has a fantastic staff. I'm duly impressed. They just treat you so well.

The biggest challenge right after surgery is drinking enough water. You have to drink in one ounce increments, at least right to begin with, and somehow you have to drink at least 40 ounces and preferably 64 or more. When you're kind of swollen up there's not a lot of room for water to get through, and it's kind of a weird sensation feeling it seep down. Probably the worst thing is that the first thing you do is take a sip of berium, a really nasty substance, so they can take pictures of my guts to see if everything looks okay.

Gone are the days of laying your guts open. I have 4 tiny little incisions where they did everything laproscopically.. they stick tubes inside me and use tiny little cameras to see where it all is and work through those. It's pretty amazing stuff really. And the fact that the doctor can do 9 of these surgeries by early afternoon is pretty impressive as well.

So there never was a lot of pain, just... discomfort afterwords. Now I'm sure some of that can be attributed to good drugs. But so far I feel pretty pretty good. Okay, my wife has noticed some typos here so maybe i'm not as clear headed as i think. I don't feel the kind of high some people talk about from their pain meds, I feel pretty normal for the most part. But I think driving's probably not a good idea right now. I think I mentioned I didn't really know what to expect, I was surprised how nervous I wasn't, though there were definitely some times I wondered what I was getting into. And other than that moment that I woke up, had that quick realization that I felt this clamp around my stomach and asked 'what was I thinking???' - It has not been that bad an experience.

And the nice thing is I get home and everyone treats me really good. Well, except for my wife's proof reading -- something about being a community college instructer I guess.... but all in all... not a bad day.

And the time has come

Alright so I haven't said much about feelings leading up to the surgery. Probably because there haven't been a lot? I mean there's some looking forward to what life will be like, some apprehension about what life will be like, some apprehension just because it's my first surgery, but I don't find myself scared or anything.

Tuseday night we had cookies at our team meeting and I commented that may be the last bit of solid food I get until sometime in October. That is looking like that will be the case. All day yesterday was clear liquid diet - no food whatsoever. If you can't see through it you can't drink it. I was able to have an Isopure protein drink which was okay, and some apple juice. But other than that all water baby! I guess that's to clean the system out so there's no food in there to try to puke up when they do the surgery. And then of course today... nada. No water, no nothing.

Anyway, heading out the door... guess we'll see how it goes eh?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another day on the rollercoaster

So after resigning myself to starting all over again with new doctor new insurance new everything, I get the phone call that my surgery was approved through the previous insurance. After some phone calls I find that I can still continue my old insurance as it hasn't been 30 days yet.

And so the dilemma becomes, do I pay extra for the old insurance for another month, or start anew? With all the tests and preliminaries I had done in the past, on the old insurance I won't have any more out of pocket, not even any copays. New insurance, different story. So, while a month's premium for family insurance is not really cheap, in the long run it's going to save money...

So, my surgery is scheduled the 16th of this month. I went in yesterday for my pre-op visit where they sucked some blood out of me, let me pee in a cup, all that fun stuff, got some instructions, and now it's a matter of getting ready for something completely different... life changes so quickly in a week.

Exciting news... and scary. Now it's for real, or at least it's about to be.