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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/01/2011 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I posted this on the pre-surg forum as well. I ALSO posted this on my blog and thought it may be nice to come and visit lapbandtalk as well! I have been banded over 2 years. I started at 327 pounds and now weigh 159. I love my band. Sometimes those of us "old timers" can forget all the questions we had when we were newbies...so I tried to think of as many as possible. I don't have tons of updated pics on here, but you can always see more on my blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I am an open book. ------- Sometimes we forget when we were first beginning. Do you remember the first time you googled Lapband? Or the first time you logged into the forums...frantically searching for before and afters....looking at successes and getting pumped...stumbling upon a horror story and then getting scared? Do you remember the stupid questions you asked? I remember posting on lapbandtalk.com something like "is one cup of Wendy's chili bad for you?" Well, I am going to try and remember back to when I didn't know much about the band...and what information would have been helpful. Here goes... Did you know: I started at 327 pounds. My doctor, the wonderful and handsome Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, told me that the band is not always the best choice for someone who is a grazer. They find that the band is actually more successful for men, because men tend to eat in volume (sitting down for a huge dinner and getting really full, vs eating and munching on little things all day). Some doctors say that the band will not work as well for those of us who are or were really morbidly obese. I disagree. And there are plenty of us out here who are proving them wrong. Did you know: The band may not work for you? You could have the surgery and not lose much weight at all. It is not a sure thing. BUT, if you work with the band...it can and will work for most of us.What does "work with the band mean"? Every doctor has a different regimen they want you to follow. Every doc is different, as it almost every patient. Some say no pop/soda, some say it's fine. Some have a 2 week liquid preop and scare the sweet baby jebsus out of you about not shrinking your liver enough for surgery and not being able to operate (thank you Dr. Friedman). But, you will have to do your part with the band. You will have to watch what you eat. You will have to eventually get your ass up and exercise. You will have to make healthier choices and just be better. I know you are saying WHAT? That sounds like a diet to me. And I fail at diets!!! The band is a TOOL, not the Alpha and Omega of your weight loss journey. You can "cheat" the band by eating sliders and soft food. I for one could eat cheetos all day long and the band would sleep right through it. But with the right restriction, your band prevents you from eating that large pizza, the extra value meal, the entire bovine. You have to find a doctor that you can have a relationship with. They have to be open with you and you have to be open with them. You HAVE to go see them for fills. You have to follow up. You have to be a good patient. ASK QUESTIONS. What can you eat once you are banded? At this point in my journey, I can't think of one thing I CANT eat. However, there are somethings that I try to stay away from because they are difficult with my band. Example: Bowtie Pasta. It doesnt go down well. And then it just sits in my band and expands...causing me to PB (get to that in a second). I can't eat a sandwich, or a hamburger with a bun, but I could eat a roll if I tear off little pieces at a time. Hot dogs give me problems for some reason. Dry chicken or reheated meat (with the exception of a hamburger) often give me problems as well. I still drink soda, I still drink beer. I love Soups. I can eat veggies. I can eat fruit. Eating after being banded is about going slow. It's about chewing. They say with proper restriction that 4-6 ounces of solid Protein (a piece of meat about the size of your fist) should keep you full for 3-4 hours. Most docs want their patients to avoid "slider meals". Meaning, eating a bowl of Soup for lunch or yogurt for Breakfast isn't going to keep you full or satisfied because it will SLIDE right down. You want your food to stay in your pouch, and slowly drop down. Sometimes though...food may get stuck and then you get "sick". The Dreaded PB: A couple things may happen if a piece of food gets "stuck in your pipe" as Heather refers to it. You aren't going to die. It's not like it gets stuck and you need the Heimlich. But if a piece of food gets stuck, ain't nothing else going down until it moves or comes up. The first thing that may happen is a productive burp (PB). This is not throwing up. When something gets stuck, your slobber starts to build on top of it. For me, when this happens, I get a weird sensation in the back of my jaw. And if I wait long enough, I will have to get somewhere private (hopefully) and let it come up. What comes up is this weird slime/foam combo. It doesn't hurt. And hopefully...it moves whatever is stuck. Sometimes though, it takes a little more work. Sometimes that one piece of food I didnt chew enough will be down there for hours. And then, it's not PBing. It's sort of like dry heaving until that piece comes up. There is a tightness in the chest...a pressure. It's not fun. I will say that not everyone gets stuck or PB's. And most of us would agree that when we do get stuck...it's our fault. We eat without being present, we didn't chew, we ate too fast. Restriction and Tips for Eating: Unless you are extremely lucky, you will not awake from surgery with perfect restriction. Some docs put a little liquid in your band to start with, others wait. I had to wait 6 weeks for my first fill. And again, unless you are the rare case, you probably won't get restriction with your first fill. It took me several fills before I had good restriction. ASK your doctor what his/her fill policy is. Some docs are super restrictive with their fills. They only fill on a schedule. They don't care whether or not you have restriction. All I know is if Dr. Friedman hadn't let me tell him that I was ready for a fill...and if he had made me wait regardless of what I could eat...I wouldn't have been as successful as I was. You will know you have restriction when you have it. It's sort of like having sex. If you have to wonder if you had an orgasm or not...um...you probably didn't. Restriction will keep you full and satisfied for 3-4 hours. You will be able to eat less. Restriction DOES NOT RESTRICT YOUR BRAIN. You may still mentally crave things. You will have to learn the difference between head hunger and physical hunger. This is very hard. When you do have good restriction, you will have to change the way you eat. This is easier said than done. You should be taking small bites. For example, if you are eating steak, you need to cut that sucker up into pea sized bites. You need to chew. Then, set your fork down and wait a few seconds. You should eat sitting down. You should pay attention to what you are doing. You will learn that things like eating in the car is rarely going to end well. (Always have your emergency PB kit in your car. A couple of bags, some papertowels or handywipes. Trust me.) You probably shouldnt drink with your meal or for 30 minutes after. liquids can help push your food down...thus...cheating the band. How much weight will I lose? How quickly will I lose it? Now you know that there is no one answer for this. Statistically, Lapband patients lose around 40% of their excess weight. SO, if you are 100 pounds overweight, statistically you will lose 40 pounds. I hate statistics. And remember, they are an average. 17 more pounds lost and I will have lost 100% of my excess weight...and I am not alone. It can happen. However, there are so many factors that go into how much and how fast. Genetics, age, diet history, personal support, family life, exercise. Some weeks I lost 7 pounds. Some weeks I gained 5. The weeks I gained, I gained because I ate poorly. I cheated the band The weeks I lost, I ate and made healthy choices. There are some weeks, even when I WAS doing the right thing...I didn't lose. It can be frustrating. But you can't give up. You will have to keep upping your game. At some point, even with the band, you will either have to adjust your food or exercise. But, I feel like the band is "cheating". I feel like if I have WLS, I am weak. I'm gonna tell you what. Who gives a flying monkey's ass?! Cheating what? Cheating early death? Cheating sleep apena? Cheating high blood pressure, sore joints, diabetes? I say CHEAT AWAY then. There is no shame in WLS. It's not about will power. It's not about failing. It is about trying to find a tool that works to give you some power, give you your health. I tell whoever wants to know or will listen about the band. And yes, I have heard "Oh...well...I thought you did it the hard way"...or "hmmm...that must be nice". I say listen FOOL. There ain't nothing easy about the band. It makes some things easier but it is still work. And I find that people either give you 'tude about the band bc they are afraid or jealous or because they don't understand. Either way, that is okay. I will educate or I will ignore. I feel like if I were to say "oh, I am just watching my diet and working out"...that I would be lying by omission. AND, my real fear is that someone who is overweight will think "Well, Amy did it "the old fashioned way", and they will feel like a failure when they try and do not succeed. Will my relationship fall apart if I have the surgery? We all hear the stories of what happens when someone has WLS. The divorce rate and seperation rate is a little higher for us. There are several reasons. One, for some of us....when we lose weight, we become a different person...or the person we would have been if our bodies hadn't been our enemies so long. Our expectations may change, we may want more. OR, our partners may not be able to deal with the new us. OR, as in any relationship...sometimes it's just time to move on. I don't think that having WLS should make you fear losing or changing your partner anymore than the normal person. There are tons of bandsters out there still happy and maybe even happier with their significant other. Sometimes though, even though we can't see it or don't want to admit it...we have settled. And once you start to shed your cloak of security or denial...you realize you deserve more (too bad we don't realize that to begin with. Long story short...people change and grow...with or without weightloss surgery.Are you worried about complications: No. But most days I am not a worrier about things that may or may not happen. I heard recently that the stats for band slipping are about 5% and for erosion, about 1-2%. Slipping for example, can be avoided most of the time and according to the docs...is easy to fix. Erosion is of course a little more scary. But I hope that by always paying attention to my body, my band, and how I am feeling...I can avoid it or if it ever happens...catch it early.Do fills hurt? Mine never do. My doc has never done one under fluoro. He gives me a numbing shot and then the fill.How many fills do you have to have? To get restriction, it took me 4. My first year I had around 6 fills. My second year, I had 2.Will you ever have the band taken out? Lord I hope not. Even now that I am at goal weight and weight loss is more of what I do instead of what the band does for me...it's always there. It's my safety net. It will keep me from ever being 327 pounds again.Why did you choose the band over other options? I was 28 when I decided on the surgery. I didn't want my stomach cut apart. I still wanted to be able to absorb my nutrients. I wanted to be able to eat sugar and other things without getting physcially ill. I liked that the removal of the band was a possibility if something went wrong. I liked the idea of being able to control my restriction. And even though I bitched and complained along the way, I liked the idea of a slower weight loss (vs Gastric bypass). It gave my skin and my brain a little more time to adjust.Did you know there are different brands of lapbands? I have the Allegran Lapband. Ask you doctor your choices and the differences. Mine is a 10-11cc band. Some are smaller.Were you worried about the loose skin? Barely. I figured I may look like a saggy deflated sack after I lost my weight, but I would rather be deflated then morbidly obese. And I am lucky. My skin is nowhere as bad as it could have been. Again, so many factors go into skin. Age, genes, working out, sun...etc. Would you do it again? In a heartbeat my friends. In a heartbeat. It was the best decision of my life. It was a tremedous catalyst for change. I can't think of one negative consequence of the band.
  2. 1 point
    I have worked (recently) in a dermatologist office- most insurances DO cover it- but they will make you try other things first (like DRYSOL-- which i actually use myself now, it's a liquid that is applied at bedtime to underarms- but dont apply it after shaving them cuz it will stiiiiiiiiiing!!). It's like fighting your insurance for a name brand drug vs. generic- have to prove the other options dont work before they will approve it. We did botox on quite a bit of people in their under-arms for hyperhydrosis. They can (depending on the dermatologist) apply numbing cream before doing the botox. It takes basically an entire vial of botox per arm (usually a patient paying out of pocket would pay $500 a vial). The downside is- it usually has to be repeated every 6 months- so it's a fight with the insurance every 6 months. Boo. Good luck, hope I helped!
  3. 1 point

    6 Months Out

    Well I am happy to say that today is my 6 month bandiversarry. I go for my next visit on the 10th and hopefully I am still losing. It seems like I am eating a lot lately. I don't know if it is because I am actually humgry or because I am so stressed out. I know that this is a lifelong journey and I am making every effort to do the best I can with this awesome tool that I have. I thank God that I have an awesome support system to help me. I need to get back on track and get my life back under my control. My health is way more importnant than anything that comes my way. Good luck to all of you that are still on your journey's and congrats to those that have made goal. We are shining examples of what the Lap Band can and will do it. I am proud to be a member of this "family".
  4. 1 point
    Good luck on your weight loss journey and your TTC journey. I was banded on 2.22.10 and got pregnant in October of '10. I was about 8 months post op and had lost 75lbs. My surgon knew ahead of time that one of my main reasons for this sugery was so that I could have a healthy pregnancy. When my husband I felt we were ready, I asked for my surgons "blessing", she told me that she was very proud of my success and my loss, as well as my health conditions improving, and gave me the OK to get pregnant. So here I am starting my 3rd trimester of pregnancy I am due at the end of July and baby and I are doing great
  5. 1 point
  6. 1 point
    I have 7 tattoos and they all but 1 look way better on my skinny body. They seem bigger now. Lol! But the four leaf clover near my heart on top of breast is not in good shape. Lol!
  7. 1 point
    I have a butterfly above my ankle so I doubt it will change much. Although it is a barometer for shaving my legs when it turns into a moth.
  8. 1 point

    Ladies what are you Dying to wear!!!!

    Anything that doesnt come from the "womens" or "plus size" section. I want to wear clothes that fit me well. I want to buy things from the little trendy stores and not from Lane Bryant!
  9. -1 points

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