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Friday, March 23, 2012

Gas...and not the $4 a gallon kind

Remember the gas pains that you had post-op?  Does anyone else still get them sometimes?

I don't really know when gas pressure became an issue for me.  Basically I feel like I need to burp and when I do burp, I feel better.  Sometimes when I am laying down in the evening, watching TV or whatever, I'll constantly feel the need to burp.  I'll do so and then the pressure starts building again.  Annoying.  I don't have any issues with the gas coming out the other end.  I even quit drinking soda because it made it worse.  I discovered Gas-X and it took care of the issue whenever is came up - maybe once a week or so.  Until my fill last week, that is.

I had the fill on Wednesday last week and every night I've had pain so bad that it was really miserable.  At first I thought I torqued my back, but the pain doesn't respond to analgesics at all.  Then I noticed that the pain subsided when I burped.  So I took Gas-X and it works for a half hour or so, but then the pain comes back.  Drinking hot tea makes it go away for 45 minutes or so, but it comes back.  Yesterday I was in pain all day.  Today no pain thus far, but in the past several days, it has hit after dinner.

I did some research and discovered that a few people on LBT have had similar experiences, but no one seems to have resolved it.  I'm afraid that my only solution is to get a partial un-fill, but food and drink go down just fine so I don't want to do that.  Plus at my fill appointment, my fill doctor said that if I had problems with this small fill, I should go get imaging done since I could have a slippage.  I think she was being a little ridiculous since I have zero symptoms of that (She said it because I indicted I had decent restriction at .25 ccs in my 4 cc band and because I didn't gain a significant amount of weight during the year I was essentially un-filled.).  So I know if I go back and have some fluid let out, she'll want me to get imaging done (which I can't afford and have no insurance for) and she won't treat me beyond the un-fill until I do.

So I am a little frustrated at the moment.  Does anyone have any words of wisdom?           

Friday, March 16, 2012

Are you a different person?

Have you noticed the blogs where people have become super-studs running 5Ks, commuting by bicycle, doing Zumba and lifting weights like it's their JOB?  What about those who are now eating for health and nutrition instead of eating for entertainment and stress release?  A few bloggers have gotten out of bad relationships with spouses and friends as well.  Which makes me wonder, do we become different people after weight loss surgery?

My messed up relationship with food was a HUGE part of who I was.  In a lot of ways, I felt like two people: There was the healthy Amanda who has been a vegetarian since age 19, who exercised regularly, who cared about health and fitness.  And then there was the other Amanda, who wanted to binge and overeat at every opportunity.  She looked at giving up unhealthy foods and unhealthy behaviors like someone looks at giving up their hair.  She didn't want any part of it.  That Amanda clung to her behaviors.  She wanted to be thin, but she didn't want to change.

I lived in two states.  I was either overeating and/or binging or I was carefully dieting, recording the fat and calorie content of every morsel that went into my mouth, exercising religiously and obsessing about food.  If I screwed up on the diet, all hell would break loose and I'd eat and eat and eat.  There was NO MIDDLE GROUND.  There was NO MODERATION.  It was either one or the other.  I didn't even believe that I could ever be normal with food or have a normal life in that regard.  I do not remember EVER, not one day in my entire life, when I can honestly say that I was not in one extreme or the other.

Weight loss surgery changed everything.  It did things I didn't know it could or would.  I hoped that I would lose weight, but I didn't know that I would discover the freedom and joy of a life of moderation.  My Lap-band made me eat smaller portions.  It made me slow down when I was eating.  I actually did not always do a bad job with food choices pre-op so I just continued eating the foods I always had.  I didn't know my problem was really one of portion control until I could sit down and eat a moderate portion and feel good about it.

As I lost weight, I stopped beating myself up.  I stopped hating myself when it came to food.  I learned to ENJOY the food I ate instead of feeling ashamed when I ate, no matter what I was eating.  I began to enjoy eating for good health and for fitness.  I savored the treats I ate, but I also now understand that moderation doesn't mean eating everything I want, all the time.  I have to regulate the portions and frequency of desserts and snack foods and I have discovered that I can do this.  Sometimes I fail and make bad choices, but generally I do a pretty good job.

I've had a chance in the last few months to really remember what it was like for me before weight loss surgery.  Those who read my blog know I gained a few pounds over the holidays and have struggled to take them off.  I finally acknowledged that I needed the help a fill can give me and saw my fill doc this week.  I don't know why I waited so long, but I don't regret the brief glance of how I don't want to live my life.  I have been dieting and having occasional binges.  I have been living in the two ends of the spectrum that I knew before surgery.  I did it because it was familiar and apparently because I'm not very quick on the uptake.  I didn't realize what I was doing, but now I see things clearly.

So am I a different person?  No, I'm still me with all my fabulous flaws.  The "other" Amanda still lives within me.  She will always be in me, but now she and my true self are learning to play nice and live in harmony.

How about you?  Are YOU a different person?


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ah, mushies...

I am sitting here eating my vegetarian re-fried beans with a sprinkle of melted cheese and a dollop of sour cream like a good Bandster who just got a fill.  So yummy!  Definitely my favorite mushy meal!

I think I sort of forgot I had a Lap-band which probably tells you how little restriction that I had.  Sitting here eating my lunch slowly, I am feeling like a Lap-band patient for the first time in a while. 

I am almost embarrassed to confess that I only had .25 ccs in my 4 cc band.  Now I have 1 cc.  I've had as much as 2.7 ccs before, but I had issues with reflux at that level.  I'm a total fill light-weight, but I can honestly say that regardless of how much fill I have in my band, I still feel some restriction and it still helps me at least a little bit in this battle.  So I hoping this level gives me what I need and doesn't give me what I don't need (reflux).

And that's the skinny! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Well, duh!

I have a real hard time spending money on myself.  A really hard time.  Almost all of my clothes are purchased with gift cards I get for my birthday or Christmas.  I only have three pairs of pants.  Until Friday of last week ALL of my shoes had holes in them except a pair of rubber rain boots.

I think of myself as frugal.  I have lived on a tight budget for so long that I know that if there is something that we need, I have to plan and save to make it happen.  And there's always something that we need.  Kids need new coats, new shoes, soccer gear, summer camp, new clothes.  The list goes on and on.  The things that I need almost never make it to the top of the list.  Take the shoe example - I bought new tennis shoes (with a gift card) in September, but they got holes in them in December (stupid crappy shoes).  So I started wearing my old tennis shoes again.  They were in okay shape, but they were starting to get holes in the insoles and a small hole in the top.  My dress shoes also had holes in the insoles and were no longer water proof.  So I just didn't wear them in the rain.  I wore my ugly rain boots and changed my shoes when I got to wherever I was going.  I was chatting with some friends from church about it last week.  After we talked I walked home (I walk to church whenever I can because it is only a mile from my house and don't get me started on gas prices).   I got a blister on the bottom of my foot from where the hole in the insole was rubbing against my skin.  So yes, I could no longer deny that I needed new shoes.

Luckily I found a deal at Costco.  I got a cute pair of Fila tennis shoes for $19.99.

But why was I walking around with holes in my shoes?  Yes, I have to be careful with money, but could I really not afford to get some shoes that didn't have holes in them?  I don't know. 

So maybe instead of being frugal I am really cheap, at least when it comes to buying myself things. 

This is a really long post to get me to the point where I say this: I am getting a fill tomorrow.  It will cost $190.  I hate that I am spending $190 on a fill and I keep trying to convince myself that I don't need it, I don't want it, I can get by without it.  But I have really been struggling with trying to lose the 7 pounds I have gained.  Even though my food has been back under control after a short Christmas deviation, the extra weight hasn't come off.  And I am starting to feel really bad about myself.  I'm starting to say horrible things to myself in my head.  I have binged because I am trying to diet and for every diet there is an equal and opposite binge, at least for me.  And then I had this thought this morning:

Well, duh!

I have a Lap-band.  One of the reasons I paid over $6,000 for the stupid thing was for situations JUST LIKE THE ONE I AM EXPERIENCING.  The Lap-band is "rechargeable".  I can get a fill and it will work better.

Well, duh!

So I called my fill doc and am going in tomorrow.  I will be spending $190 on the fill and it will help me to end the cycle that I am on right now.  I am not going to try to do this on my own.  I know that won't work, which is another reason that I got the Lap-band.

You know, for a pretty smart person, I can be really dumb sometimes!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I received this email from a very cute tenant this morning who is probably 25 years old (I'll be 39 this year):

I'm sorry to bother you with this and hope you will not be either offended or see need to report it up the later. First of all I would like to thank you for the flexibility and understanding you showed at the first of the year and moving forward.
Beyond that I wanted to say that you are extremely beautiful, and I noticed you don't wear a ring. So I was hoping you would entertain drinks or lunch someday. I had planned to do this face to face but as I just dropped off my rent their were several other individuals in the office.
Have a wonderful day and I hope to hear from you soon.

Oh, my!  I am so flattered.  I sent him a very nice response and declined due to the fact that I have a boyfriend.  I also told him he made my day!