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LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by perrysmom

  1. perrysmom

    Horribly disappointed

    I am so horribly disappointed right now. I cried all the way home from an informational seminar for the doctor I want to use -- a 45 minute drive. Seminar was fine, I didn't have questions that could be answered right then (mostly for the nutritionist, etc. rather than the doctor as I've been researching this and reading all your stories, advice, good times, bad times), but afterwards the gal that handles some of the insurance tells me that UHC will require 6 months of supervised dieting or 3 months if I have a supervised diet, pay for an exercise person, and something else I can't remember because I was in shock. UHC never mentioned the supervised diet to me when I called them to find out whether I was covered and what I needed to qualify. My BMI is 47.whatever the ticker says, and I have sleep apnea and severe hypertension. Perfect candidate for weight loss surgery!!!! The doctor even quoted statistics that people 100 lbs. or more overweight are not successful with diet and exercise alone with keeping it off (don't yell -- I know there will always be exceptions to that, but in general...). I've been so excited about the whole banding thing and finally being able to get the full feeling sooner so I can stick to the life food change (ie diet). This was a huge blow to me and now I have to try to not let myself sink into a bad depression. I was a chunky kid and somewhere between 18-20 years old my weight took off, quickly ballooning up. I'm 46 and have been morbidly obese for the last 20 years. I've tried diets, feel like I'm starving and then fall off the wagon once I hit a plateau that goes on and on (4 months was the longest I waited out a plateau before giving up). Since I've been on a new BP med that is finally keeping the blood pressure down from stroke level I've gained 10 pounds -- my fault with, I truly believe, an assist from the meds. I'm not going to be on this supervised diet and suddenly get a different result. When I did Weight Watchers -- that was supervised and I lost weight, felt miserably hungry all the time and then hit the 4 month plateau). I'll do it because I'm desperate for the help the band can offer as I work to eat right and exercise. Now I can add to my worry that by open enrollment time at work they'll change the insurance and banding won't be covered. Plus the fact that I've way more than met my deductible of $800 for the year already with tests I've had done to make sure I wasn't having any major heart issues, plus the new CPAP to replace the one that was quickly dying. Which also meant I was closer to my maximum out of pocket for the year and would have been able to save money on the 20% I have to pay for the surgery. Then there is the fact that my primary care does not have office hours conducive to those of us who work from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday -- any guess as to what her office hours are??? So now I have to take sick time and vacation to go see her for the supervised diet, plus pay the office visit copay, etc. I'm trying to figure out where the heck I'm going to come up with the money for all of that. If anyone is still reading... sorry, just needed to vent and see if I could stop crying. I know that if this surgery is what I'm supposed to have then it will work out somehow but I feel like somebody sucker punched me right now. Thanks for listening. Sorry for any typos, etc. Hugs to all.
  2. perrysmom

    Horribly disappointed

    Hugs to you Melinda! I go in for my first follow-up with my primary care on my supervised diet on the 21st. I made the mistake of not weighing myself the day that I went in to talk to her and get started so I have no comparison to what I weighed in the doctor's office. I haven't got on the scale once since then and it will actually be 5 weeks since the first visit. For quite a while I haven't felt any difference in my pants which had gotten snug -- not exactly tight, but they were a little too big before. The other day I finally believe I noticed a difference in how they fit. I'm back to hiking them up every so often. I'm dying to see what the scale will reveal on the 21st. I've been really good and trying to make the right choices in food and trying to eat less. Not entirely sure the appetite suppressant is working but willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. I'll talk to my doctor when I see her. I did have one lapse where I REALLY wanted some ice cream (we've been buying the lower fat stuff for a while as my sister has gall bladder issues). But instead of having the 1/2 cup serving -- I ate 1-1/4 cups. Was planning on taking 1 cup of it, but there was so little left I lapsed into the past and said to myself "that little bit isn't worth putting it back in the freezer for". It was really good. Dutifully entered it into my fitnesspal diary though. I was still under my calories but it didn't help the fat and sodium count. Even if I have a stick of gum (sugar free) I enter it, diet pop gets entered too. Although no fat or calories the pop does contain sodium and I'm tracking that to see where I can reduce more of my sodium intake (hypertension issues). Trying to wean myself off my caffeinated-bad-for-me-diet-pop as I know it will have to go bye-bye once I have the surgery -- but goodness it's harder than the idea of not stuffing myself full of chocolate every day (and I LOVE chocolate).
  3. perrysmom

    Lap Band Tubing Was Cut!

    So sorry to hear of your troubles!!!! I certainly hope you go after the OB for the costs involved with the repair surgery!
  4. perrysmom

    Something Positive

    I had an appointment with my primary care physician today to discuss the fact that I wanted to have the band surgery. I had been very worried sick for the last week that she would not agree to write a letter saying that she is in agreement with the treatment. She had voiced concerns about WLS before but I truly love this doctor. She was the first one to listen to me about being exhausted and finally ended up sending me to a specialist who said that I had sleep apnea, and got me a referral to a sleep specialist -- none of my other doctors before her managed to figure that out even when I gave them the classic symptoms. She is willing to do the letter and we discussed the 6 month supervised weight loss that the bariatric doctor's office said UHC required. She thinks that I need to contact the insurance myself after I told her that many of the UHC people on this site didn't have to do the supervised diet. She did prescribe me an appetite suppressant after I told her how hungry I feel all the time even after a big meal. I'm hoping this will help me through the 6 months. She wants me to pay for a gym/fitness membership (which is a financial hardship) as she feels that I won't give up because I had to pay money (little does she know about Vic Tanny many moons ago). Kinda bugs me that on both the YMCA and Curves sites will not give membership pricing. I hate making phone calls. She would prefer that I have a personal trainer (apparently money grows on trees now) and YMCA has that -- again no idea on pricing. At any rate I am very happy that she has agreed to support me through this journey. She recommended a psychiatrist to go to for my evaluation. She also wants me to see a nutritionist and recommended a place near where I work -- I'll have to see if insurance will cover that. I know that I will be talking to one through the bariatric surgeon's office as well. I know that ultimately, even if she is not 100% for the surgery, she wants to do what is best for me and if I feel that it's the surgery then she will support me. There are so many positives to me losing weight that even the possibilities for problems with the lap band don't even come close to making me think twice. Thanks for listening!
  5. Edit: Meant banded not banding. Was wondering if there are any bandsters who had their surgery 8 to 10 years ago. Wondered how you were doing after all that time. Have you kept the weight off? Did you have to have any surgeries to reposition your band due to slippage (if so about how many years after your initial surgery)? Just curious. Most of the posts I see are from people banded 5 or less years ago. I know there are risks and that there are some studies that mention that after 5 years there are problems with weight regain, etc. I didn't think much of the studies as at least one of them only had 80+ responses. I think we all know that most people who respond to surveys like that are the ones who are ticked off. I might have felt differently about them if they were actual clinical studies. Just looking for as much info as I can get and would like to be armed if I get push back from family and friends. Thanks.
  6. perrysmom

    Anyone on here banding for 8 to 10 years?

    I hope that after all that you are in remission and things are going okay!
  7. perrysmom

    Protein Shakes

    Have you tried unjury? I ordered a sampler and really enjoyed their chocolate supreme. I am in process of trying out the protein powders to see which I like for when I have my surgery. It's not sold in stores, I've heard that some doctors have it in their office, but you came buy it right from the company at www.unjury.com.
  8. perrysmom

    Refused, again and again

    Best of luck to you and may your pain management work the way you need it to.
  9. perrysmom

    Horribly disappointed

    NOW, NOW, NOW!!!! Yeah, was having a pity party for myself, but in my heart knew I would go through with it anyway. It's just the thought of 6 months of wanting to chew my arm off is a little daunting, and I hope I don't get too cranky either. I figured with my BMI that I could lose some and still qualify under the 40, even though I still qualify if I was 35-40 BMI due to my co-morbidities. Again, the stupid voice in my head was bringing up how hungry I always felt dieting. Everyone always has told me "it will pass in a couple of weeks". Uhhhh...I was working the WW plan for a year (my first attempt at WW plan) and all I could think of was food and how empty and hungry I felt. Stomach (not intestines) rumbling like I hadn't eaten anything for weeks. I like the WW plan (don't know about the newly revised one) and would probably talk to the nutritionist to see how we could alter the plan to work for me when banded. I've already started trying out Protein drinks. Love the unjury chocolate splendor (yummy), trying the vanilla right now -- good but I prefer the chocolate. Tried the chicken Soup tonight and didn't care for the first taste, tried to force myself to get used to it (I've never been a fan of instant Soups and this reminded me of that) -- by the time I got to sip 3 I almost vomited so I poured it down the drain and promptly made the vanilla. I should say that I bought the sampler package from Unjury - 2 single serve packets of the chocolate, vanilla, strawberry (don't know if I'll try as I used to break out in hives when I was a kid if I had strawberries), unflavored and the chicken soup. Plus a Rubbermaid shaker container and a small meat thermometer (chicken soup liquid should not be heated above 130°F as it will affect the protein powder). Even if for some reason (although I can't imagine why) I get denied by the insurance in the end I have already decided to replace my morning egg mcmuffin or sausage with egg mcmuffin with a Protein Drink. I had tried the chocolate the other morning on the way to work around 7am, wanted to eat around 9am and decided it was my brain/mind saying I was hungry and ignored it, was truly hungry by 10am and had a choibani greek yogurt and was good until lunch time rolled around. I'll get the protein I need to stay alert but not the associated fat and calories that I normally would be inhaling. I'm also moving the treadmill into my room and will begin walking on it. I hate just walking on it and even listening to music is boring -- I can watch TV while I'm walking and that will make the time fly. I'm not ready for a cardio workout yet -- I am mostly inactive and then had the problem during a stress test where my BP top number went over 200. It happened when I had to really get the heart rate up and had to work hard to even stay on the treadmill. If I had that reaction, maybe that's why I always feel horrible after exercising -- not great and energized like other people say they are. So if I take it slow and work into it I can add time but wait to get faster as I lose weight (and presumably start bringing my BP down). Hopefully it won't make me feel so crappy and this will be something I can definitely stick with. This change HAS to happen for me. I can't afford health-wise or $ wise to get any heavier and I don't want to stay where I'm at. I don't want to be one of the old super obese women in a scooter with an oxygen tank -- no offense meant to those who may be in that unfortunate position, but it scares the you know what out of me and I want to be able to enjoy my life. I may be 46 but I'm still young by today's standards. I want to go on a trip and go hiking to view waterfalls and right now that is an impossibility.
  10. perrysmom

    Horribly disappointed

    I'm glad I have (at least this year, who knows about next) insurance coverage. I actually started seeing things about Lapband 2 to 2-1/2 years ago but had no insurance. Was deeply in debt with no job after being laid off. Still working on paying down those balances. So I didn't look into it seriously because I could never have afforded even to make payments on a plan on my own. Getting the insurance last year was a blessing. My CPAP was on it's last legs and I didn't want to go back to being so tired I could drive all the way to work and not know how I got there -- I'm lucky I never hurt or killed someone. I was ready to have my father drive me to and from work (he was retired). I'm happy that some of you without insurance (or their insurance wouldn't cover) were able to come up with the money to get the surgery. I wish everyone who has struggled over the year's had the opportunity to make the choice and not have to worry about going bankrupt trying to get healthy.
  11. perrysmom

    Horribly disappointed

    I was usually running a low of 140 to a high of 170 on the upper and 85 to 95 on the lower on meds. The new meds have brought it more in line with 140-155 and 80-85. Obviously still not great, but after having them so high for so long even on meds and watching salt and attempting to lose weight -- I'm grateful. Plus the Diovan HCT does not cause the horrible cough or the ankles swelled so big that I could hardly walk that the others BP meds did. It was awful. I know that if I can take off some weight that the numbers will come down more. I have family history on both maternal and paternal sides of hypertension so I don't know if I can get rid of it completely, but maybe yes? hopefully? I don't remember my very highest number (bottom was over 100 don't remember the top at all). I do know that during a stress test I had done in June at a cardiologists (checking for blockages-no visible ones yippee) that when I was on the treadmill it soared. My resting rate was 134/84 and then about 7 minutes in when they kicked it to the 3rd level it shot up to 218/76. They also had to make me lay down for a bit after I got off because my BP wasn't coming down. Funny thing is other than it being very difficult to catch my breath and I was sweating like a pig (do pigs sweat?), I didn't feel like I was having a BP issue -- no headache or double vision, nausea, etc. This reaction to the treadmill test may explain why I feel so much like crap when I push myself during exercise. I'll just have to take it slower and work my way into it. Any exercise is better than sitting on my butt.
  12. perrysmom

    Horribly disappointed

    I've been "haunting" the boards for about a week now. At night when I'm home from work and during lunch at work. And sometimes if I'm waiting for the computer to catch up at work I'll hop on via my phone until my computer is ready to let me do my next work task. I love this site as I can get information directly from people who have been through the process. Not that the doctor sugar-coated anything tonight during the seminar, but after all it is his entire business. I wanted to read about everything no matter how bad. If you have as much information as possible, it helps you make an informed decision. I even ordered a sampler package of the unjury Protein powder, got it yesterday and tried the chocolate supreme. OMG, yummy!!!! Very chocolatey. Only slight aftertaste for me about 15 minutes after I finished the last sip - went to the restroom at work and did a quick brush and was fine.
  13. Hi all, I'm just starting my journey to getting banded. I'm reading about a lot of people talking about the pain/soreness after their lapband surgery. I had a hysterectomy several years ago -- the regular slice you open leaving you with a smile scar style as they were unable for medical reasons to do it laproscopically. If anyone has had this type of surgery AND has had the lapband surgery done... How did the post-surgery pain compare? Just curious. It's not like it will affect my decision to have the band surgery done. Mary
  14. Not that the people who've been banding don't feel pain. I figured if I could get a comparison of the two and knew that I could handle the hysterectomy pain that as long as people didn't say it was worse then I wouldn't be concerned at all about the incision sites for the scope and such. I had more issues with the air they filled me with than with any pain from the incision -- so I'll know what to expect from when they do that during the banding. I'm assuming that they pump air into you to give them room to work -- maybe I'm wrong.
  15. The one thing (other than if I don't get insurance approval) that would possibly stop me from going through with lapband is that right now I never feel full. My stomach never talks to my brain and says that I've had enough. I can literally eat until I'm ready to vomit before I feel satisfied. I'm scared that after going through the expense and having the surgery that I still won't feel full. My coworker who had the surgery done says that you can't overeat because you'll vomit it up and yet I'm reading on the forums here about the people who are able to overeat. My diets have always been sabotaged by the feeling of being hungry and never full. I've wanted to chew my own arm off even when on a high Protein, low carb diet. I did have more energy but always still felt hungry. I know that some of my eating is habit and for something to do, but there are times where I hurt until I eat something. Those of you who were like that before your surgery, how were you after (and now)? Did you feel enough full that you were able to stick with the diet? I realize we all have days every once in a while where we may feel hungry but I'm so afraid if I always still feel hungry after the surgery I'll sabotage myself. I guess I'm looking for some encouragement that there is hope that I can at least not always feel like gnawing my arm off. I'm getting older and heavier and the weight doesn't seem to want to stabilize. Gotta do something and dieting in the past never worked. Lapband is my last hope. I'd like to read both sides. This forum has helped me so much before I've even made it for the first talk (I go Thursday after work for the seminar and talk with staff). It helps me to know what I'm getting into and to read about it from people who have lived it. I like to make an informed decision. This isn't something that I can simply return to the store if I change my mind! This is a life-changing decision. Thank you! Mary
  16. Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. Far more than any other concern I may have had (and this includes the remote possibility of surgical complications, slippage, erosion, etc.) was that I still wouldn't get the full -- or should I say satisfied -- feeling. Dave - that's a GREAT article. I've saved the link in case I start blogging about my journey. I seriously believe that the more people learn about it the more informed a decision they can make. I'm hoping everything goes the right way and I can get banded. I know it will take work on my part. I'm not like some of the people I've read comments on that think it's magic and that I won't have to change my habits. What I believe the band will do for me is help me to stick to the new habits like how much and what I eat. Which will help with the next evil -- exercise. My coworker who was banded the end of 2008 can only eat a couple of bites at a time before she is ready to vomit. I think she needs some of her fill removed. I was a little concerned (not much) that I wouldn't be able to enjoy food ever again, but Jonna, I loved reading that you were able to eat some of the steak, salad and bread. A bite or two of one type of food is not a meal to me. What you mentioned would be, although my digestive system doesn't really like lettuce - I'd substitute veggies for the salad. Bread I can do without but I guess I'll have to see if I can handle a little (and I do mean little) bit of potato. I know I'll have to listen to my own body but if the band helps me "hear" the full signal when I've eaten a correct sized meal for me then I know I can stick with the change in how I eat. The next biggest hurdle is making myself exercise. I have a hard time now and really hurt and am exhausted doing even 10 minutes on the treadmill. I know as I lose weight it will become easier and it will all feed into each other, more ability to exercise leading to a loss of weight (with proper food control) and the loss of weight will give me more ability to exercise. Again, thanks so much those of you have responded so far. I'm trying to soak in as much info from people who have been through this as I can. The doctor can give you info but unless he/she has been through it, they can't give you a "real" idea of how you'll feel. I go for the seminar and meet and greet the staff tomorrow after work. I'm so excited. I need to make sure I have my list of questions with me. I've been thinking about the band for over three years since I first learned about it and can't believe that now that I have insurance it's within reach!
  17. perrysmom

    It's my day!!

    Best wishes! Hope you have a speedy recover and find it a breeze to follow post-op diet!
  18. I hope the surgery went well! Best of luck to you!
  19. Sorry your insurance won't cover. Like others have said -- look at the expense from the point of view that you are attempting to make sure you live a long healthy life so you can be there for your family. Kala: you aren't taking the "easy way out". From what I'm reading and from what a coworker who is coaching me (she's 3 years post-op) it still takes determination that we will follow our instructions about the food and the exercise. We can't return to old eating habits and sit around all day. The band is a tool for us to use in our life-changing weight loss journey. I'm just starting my banding journey and have to attend an informational seminar on August 11th before I can see the doctor. The post-op food regimen scares me a little and I've never been one to exercise. But I'm at the point where I am desperate about my health. I'm killing myself with my own body. I wish all of you the best!
  20. perrysmom

    sleep apnea/CPAP machines

    I guess I'm a lucky one. I don't have that feeling. I did have to switch from the normal mask (around the nose) to a full face mask (around nose and mouth) as I tend to have allergy issues and can't always breath through my nose. But I strap that sucker on each night even though I hate wearing it -- I'm a side sleeper and you have to make sure you position yourself right so the mask doesn't leak. I will say that when I went for a hysterectomy several years back that when I told them that I use a CPAP and asked if I should be bring it to the hospital they said absolutely not. They would provide one for me and I only needed to tell one of their respiratory people what mine was set on. It's an expensive piece of equipment and for safety/security sake they didn't want me bringing mine in. During that particular surgery there was a tube down my throat so it didn't matter and afterwards the nurses in recovery keep a really good eye on the patients coming out of anesthesia. I guess maybe what my hospital did isn't standard practice but it worked for me. One more thing for me to ask during consultation though. I'm trying to start a list of things to ask and then see how many are answered in the information seminar I am required to attend. Then whatever is left I'll ask the doctor when I have a consultation. drizzy: sorry about the no insurance. I was without insurance for about 10 years so know how that feels. Luckily when I was diagnosed with sleep apnea I was insured. Wasn't too long after that I lost insurance and had to pay for the mask out of my own pocket (ouch). If you guys can at all scrape together the money for the office visit to whatever doctor treats her asthma you should. Have her detail out what is happening - maybe you can write a note to the doctor with your observations for her to take in. Also explain about no insurance and that affording a sleep study is not an option (last I knew they ran from $10,000 to $25,000. See if they can recommend a local place that can get her some medical care at a greatly reduced cost or better yet for free. I went for years not being diagnosed (had it since I was a kid -- my throat is half the diameter it should be) and it took until I was in my late 20's before a doctor listened to what I was saying and got me help.
  21. Hi All, I'm just beginning to start the process towards getting banded. Sounds like they will be putting a wildlife tracking tag on. I've been trying to read up on banding and have been talking to a co-worker who went through it in December 2008. She has done so great and looks wonderful -- down 150 pounds! The post-op diets that I'm reading scare me more than a little. One of the reasons my diets have failed in the past is because I always felt hungry, even when on a high Protein, low carb diet. I could have gnawed my arm off. I just can't do it on my own and at 46 year of age, I'm not getting any younger. However, I am getting bigger especially after I started taking my new blood pressure meds. Not saying that my eating and lack of exercise don't have anything to do with it, but I sure think the meds are contributing to it. Like I need that kind of help! One thing that all the sites seem to agree is that support groups are VERY important. So I thought I'd jump right in and benefit from the advise that those of you who have gone (or are going) through it can impart. It will be nice to be in a place that isn't judgemental. Mary aka Perry's Mom
  22. perrysmom

    Starting the Lap Band Journey

    Diovan HCT 320/25 mg It's bp and waterpill all in one It really does help with the bp and doesn't give me the cough or massively swelled ankles. None of the other bp meds I tried helped. I was still at stroke levels. I'm sure it's only a small part in the recent weight gain.

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