Thursday, September 6

One-month band-free

It's been just over a month since my band came out. And it's just over two months now until my stomach comes out - yep, my sleeve is scheduled for Nov. 9, which is 9 weeks from tomorrow! I cannot wait. Just cannot wait.

Ironically, it's also two weeks shy of what would have been my 3-year bandiversary.

The weight gain continues, although it has thankfully slowed quite significantly. I don't even want to get on a scale - all I know is I have nothing that fits, and that's not much of an exaggeration. I can't gain any more weight, or I will be naked. Ha.

Friday, August 3

I'm surviving!

So, a quick update. My surgery was at 9:30 am and I was released to go home at 2 pm. Not too shabby! Still haven't had any pain meds, not even immediately after surgery in recovery. I honestly think it's helping me feel better, as pain meds just do a number on how I feel - very groggy, light-headed, tired, nauseated.

Ironically, one of my nurses has been banded for two years. She had a slip fixed about 6 months ago, and really wanted to revise to sleeve, but her insurance wouldn't cover it on a first slip. So now she's hoping for another slip so she can revise! Her daughter had the sleeve done three months ago and lost 80 lbs and is at goal. HOLY MOSES. I hope this will be me!

My band had pulled the fundus of my stomach (left part) through my diaphragm. I also had a fair amount of scar tissue that he removed. We're still looking at close to 4 months for revision, so maybe I can do it on or around what would have been my three-year bandiversary at the end of November.

One last thing - if anyone reading this is looking for a surgeon in the Orlando/Melbourne/Space Coast area, Dr. Domkowski at Riverside Surgical is amazing. The most caring surgeon I've ever met. Hands down. He is just so wonderful.

And the staff at Sebastian Medical Center blew me away. The anesthesiolgist was even nice and caring, which has never been my experience, and I have had five surgeries. Every single person touched my shoulder, assured me I'd be fine, and kept asking what they could get for me. Their care was top notch.


I'm out and doing fine. No pain meds at all! Mainly bc they make me sick. Lol more later...

Thursday, August 2

Tomorrow I become the bandless babbler

Just a quick note that my surgery is on for tomorrow (Fri) at 9 am EDT. I'll let you guys know when I am on the other side and band-free. Please cross your fingers and toes that the damage is minimal!

Wednesday, July 18

I've stopped crying.

And now I'm just bitching!

OK, not really. I am MUCH better than I was 24 hours ago.

I saw Dr. D again this morning. There was some confusion, as I thought they had rescheduled my surgery for 8/24 (instead of 8/31). But it was really scheduled for SEVEN/24. Um, that's next Tuesday. And I no can do. I am in Milwaukee for work, flying with my son there on Sunday and both kids back the following Sunday. And throwing my BFF's baby shower while I am there. Just really not workable. The next available option he had was 8/17. which was 3.5 weeks later. That made me cry (#1 cry) - I had to choose between living with this thing inside me that could potentially ruin my stomach even more and mucking up my BFF's one and only baby shower and my kids' summer vacation plans.

Fortunately, Dr. D is the most AWESOME doctor on the face of the earth. He worked me in on 8/3, so I don't have to move heaven and earth, AND I can get it done sooner (#2 cry).

The bad news is my band is FUCKED UP! For real. If you've seen your band on film, you know it should look like a slash, '/'. Mine is a perfectly round, big, open, 'O', Yep, it has not only turned, but it has flipped and twisted. Which means my poor tummy is being drug up and through the O and then back down. Not good. He said he's seen worse though. I am thankful for once that my overachieving ways didn't have be in first place.

He can't believe I don't have any restriction based on the band's position, but I really don't. Oh, also, my band has ZERO fluid in it, even though it should have 9cc. Yep, it is a mess. I wonder if he'll give it to me as a souvenir!

Sooooo, dear friends, it's bad enough that I have to wait at least FOUR MONTHS between surgeries for my poor tummy to heal (#3 cry).

BUT because Dr. Dr is seriously the most awesome doctor ever, he reassured me that I am NOT to worry about weight gain. He wants me to focus solely on letting my tummy heal. He said he doesn't care if I lose 10 lbs or gain 50 lbs between now and my sleeve, he just wants to see me healed (#4 cry - it was an ugly, snorting, contorted, snotting cry). He said I will get it all off and then some with the sleeve. In fact, he insisted I will be sitting in his office a year from now asking for plastic surgeon referrals because I'll have lost so much weight (#5 cry). It seems impossible, but I know it is true. Whether I have the surgery now or in a few months, a year from now, it won't really make a difference.

There you have it - the latest and greatest from this battling bandster. I have finally stopped crying. I'm still not happy at the prospect of being restriction-free for an additional five months or so, but it is what it is. I didn't have restriction for about six months with the band, so I just need to get in that same head space and do what I need to do.

Thanks for listening and all the supportive comments. Our little blog sisterhood is truly the best!

Tuesday, July 17

If I can stop crying long enough...

I'd post about how I have another slip. Which means:

  • TWO separate surgeries.
  • MORE expenses.
  • LONGER that I have to wait to get the sleeve which means that much longer I have to fight this stupid hunger.
I am meeting with the surgeon again tomorrow to iron out all the details. Right now, it looks like the band removal will be 8/24. Once he's in there and sees what kind of damage has been done, I'll have a timeline on the sleeve. Fingers crossed for sooner than later, obviously.

I'm quite upset. Quite. I cried through a conference call at work today. Fortunately, I didn't have to do much talking.

On another note, is anyone on MyFitnessPal? If so, let's be friends. Today is day two of low carb. I need LOTS of accountability!

Monday, July 16

Update on my naughty band

I finally, FINALLY had my appointment with Stephanie and Jacquie's surgeon today. First, he is AWESOME. I could cry - he listened, understood, and helped. Which is more than I can say for my last surgeon.

He reassured me I would lose this weight I had gained, that I had not failed the band rather the band had failed me, and that he still considers me a success, even with the weight gain and bummer band. I can't even tell you how much I've been beating myself up over this weight gain. I HATE it. I was SO in control, and now? Well, let's just say I haven't been full in six months, I constantly think/dream about food, and I have about four pairs of pants that fit.

We talked about the options:
  • Fix/replace the band. As he said, and I would agree, I have been successful with the band. However, in light of my recent issues, the overall band complication rate, and my age (young-ish) combined with my original BMI (very high), I probably need something that is more permanent than the band. In addition, fixing/replacing the band is nearly as expensive as revising.
  • Bypass. Great long-term success rates. Still the gold standard in WLS.
  • Sleeve. He likes the sleeve because it has the same long-term success rates as bypass with less reliance on vitamins and supplements since it is not malabsorptive. 

Here's the plan of action:

  • Upper GI today to determine if I have another slip. I will know the results tomorrow.
  • If no slip (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE), then I will have the band removed and revise to sleeve in one surgery on August 31. This would be ideal, since I am self-pay and am not loaded.
  • If I do have another slip, then the band has to come out first (mid-August). It would be another SIX FREAKING MONTHS until I can revise, so my stomach can heal. Ugh. For both my waist line and my wallet, this would be a bad option. Therefore, I CANNOT have another slip. It is just not an option.
  • The surgeon who did the Upper GI said he did not see ANY restriction nor a slip, although the band is a little lower than he would expect. He was going to discuss with my surgeon, who is supposed to call me tomorrow. I am very hopeful that it is just a leaky band based on his findings and the band's behavior. Fingers, toes, everything is crossed!
The thing that has really sold me on the sleeve vs. bypass (since Amy W. asked) is that there are still revision options with the sleeve. You can still revise to bypass, which I obviously hope to not need, but I hoped that with the band as well. With bypass, you are pretty much at the end of the road, except for duodenal switch, which is a very involved, invasive surgery. I asked him, "If a perfect solution for obesity is discovered in 10 years, would you rather walk into it with a sleeve or bypass?" He answered sleeve, since your anatomy is less changed. And that was all I needed to know.

Please, if you are the crossing fingers, good thoughts, and/or praying type, can you do a little extra for me tonight? I really, really, really need to not have a slip! Thanks!

Monday, June 11

Do I even dare post?

Just wanted to say hi. I am here. I'm a working girl now, travelling from FL (home) to WI (work) every week. Between work and my stupid band slip and whatever, I just haven't been inspired to blog. I suck. I know I do. But I can't blog from work - yep, that's my excuse!

So, yep, I do suck. But hopefully, I'm still welcome here, just like at Cheers! You know, where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came! (Right?!?!)

On to other not-so-good-news. Post-slip, I was completely unfilled. Three fills later, I was t-h-i-s close to perfect restriction. Then....%^&*@#&*%^$ leak in the band. Yep, I went for one little fill and came out with NO restriction.



So, I am now strongly considering revising to the sleeve. If I have to go back under the knife, I'm not risking more band issues. While I've done well with the band and was really happy with it until my slip in January, I am self-pay, and if I am paying for another surgery, well, I just can't take more possible band issues.

But if I am no longer a bandster, I guess I'll have to change my blog name to...what the heck goes with Sleevester?

Although since I only post once every five months, I'm not sure anyone is even still reading! And I certainly am not a babbler.

Tuesday, January 10

Good news, bad news, good news...

I know, I'm a terrible blogger these days. I'm sorry.

So, things have been really crazy at home, and DH and I haven't even really had a chance to talk about things other than housework, child care, etc. Things are perhaps a bit better, and certainly not worse. I guess they are more in a holding pattern than anything.

Ready for some other updates?

GOOD NEWS: There are some changes brewing in our lives (yes, again) that are HUGE. HUGE HUGE HUGE. Really good changes. Please keep me in your thoughts as they will or won't pan out over the next few days. Fingers are so tightly crossed, I can barely type.

BAD NEWS: I have been sick since the day after Christmas. It all started with a really bad cough that was the worst at night. I barely slept for a few days, so I finally went to the doctor and got some meds. In the mean time, with all the coughing, mucus, and non-sleeping, I just couldn't eat. I was nauseous all the time and just generally not interested in food.

The cough was so bad that I vomited several times during that first week. Then the coughing/vomiting morphed into a really bad case of reflux at night. I would wake up choking on stomach acid. I couldn't even sleep with five pillows under my head. I finally ended up in the ER, because any time I attempted to eat or drink, I would get severe lower back pains. Like worse than labor or kidney stone pains. And I had unrelenting nausea. Bloodwork, rectal exam (so fun), CT scan, and urinalysis later, it was determined that I was just severely dehydrated and malnourished. Their solution was to send me home with instructions to eat and drink. Ha, eating or drinking caused pain. I no likey pain. So I no eatey or drinky.

Obviously, that's no way to live, so I made yet another appointment with my MD. Now, if you are smarter than me, or perhaps an MD, you've probably already suspected a band issue. I did not. Partly because the ER's CT scan said my "gastric band is in place." Partly because I didn't want it to be true. Partly because I would never connect lower back pain with a band in my upper front.

A few phone calls to a bariatric surgeon and an x-ray later, it was determined my band has slipped.


Unfortunately, now it's Friday at 4 pm, so my options are to be admitted to the hospital for the weekend or to tough it out at home. I opted to go home. Between Friday at 4 pm and my appointment with my new bariatric surgeon on Monday at 11 am, I ate nothing and drank less than 4 ounces. Again, me no likey pain.

The surgeon took one look at my x-ray and unfilled me completely. I had almost immediate relief. I've been able to eat and drink. I have an upper GI tomorrow, and another visit with him later this week. He's very hopeful it'll go back, but of course, I'm still nervous, especially since I am self-pay. It's one thing to pay to get a band, it's an entirely other to pay to take it out. That would suck. But he said he's fairly confident it'll go back to where it should be.

Thankfully, Angela kept me grounded and didn't let me jump off the ledge, even though I was about to!

I'll take any good vibes you have and keep you posted.

GOOD NEWS: I lost a bunch of weight, thanks to not eating. And even with eating and drinking yesterday, the scale was down again this morning. 176.2 lbs! HOLY CRAP!!!! I am within 4 lbs of my goal weight. AMAZING. I am in disbelief. I have lost 198.2 lbs, if I am doing the math right.