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Everything posted by Penni60

  1. I heard that Dr. Lopez has a message board somewhere. Lisa or anyone know how to access this board?
  2. Here is info will come in handy when thinking about fills/adjustments. Great information. I have seen this information before and it is really good. How to Tell When You Are Perfectly Adjusted You are losing 1-2 pounds per week. If you are not losing 1-2 pounds per week: A. You may need an eating adjustment 1. Are you eating 60 grams of Protein a day 2. Are you eating 25 grams of Fiber 3. Are you avoiding all liquid calories a. Soup can be sign of “soft calorie syndrome” b. Alcohol contains a lot of calories – 7 calories per gram (1) It’s also a stomach irritant c. fruit juice is just sugar Water 4. Are you making healthy food choices from a wide variety of foods? a. Are you avoiding soft foods b. You can’t just eat what’s easy c. cheese is glorified fat 5. Are you drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day between meals 6. Are you eating too much junk a. chips, chocolate, nuts, ice cream, Cookies and other highly processed junk foods are too calorically dense to be regular parts of a healthy diet. But don’t avoid them completely to the point where you feel deprived. b. Stay out of fast food places 7. Are you getting in two servings of Calcium daily 8. Do you always eat the protein first 9. Then the vegetables or fruits a. Five servings a day b. Potatoes are NOT a vegetable 10. Is your portion size appropriate? a. meat or fish (1) 3 ounces – the size of a deck of cards b. Vegetables (1) ½ cup – the size of your fist c. Starch (1) If you eat the protein and the vegetables first you don’t need much (2) Avoid: rice, potatoes, Pasta 11. You might try avoiding artificial sweeteners a. Some people think that artificial sweeteners stimulate the appetite b. They are HUNDREDS of times sweeter than sugar c. They teach you to like things too sweet d. There is no evidence that people who use them are any thinner than people who don’t 12. Avoid most diet foods a. Real food usually tastes better b. Real food is more satisfying than low calorie substitutes c. When you are only eating a tiny bit the caloric savings is not that great (1) Use a teaspoon of real butter instead of a tablespoon of diet margarine (2) The body has no way to break down artificial fats a. They may go into permanent storage b. Some people think liposuction is the only way to remove hydrolyzed fats from the body B. You may need a behavior adjustment 1. Are you eating only when you are hungry? a. If you’re not sure drink 8 ounces of water and wait. 2. Are you eating three meals a day? a. With maybe 1 or 2 small Snacks 3. Are you sitting down to eat? 4. Are you eating consciously? a. No distractions, turn off the TV, put the book or newspaper away, pay attention to your food and your companions 5. Are you eating slowly? a. Put the fork down between bites b. Take 20 to 30 minutes to finish a meal c. Taking longer might cause the pouch to begin emptying 6. Are you taking small bites? a. Tiny spoon, chopsticks, cocktail fork 7. Are you chewing well? 8. Are you drinking with your meals or too soon after your meals? a. Practice water loading between meals b. You won’t be thirsty if you are well hydrated before the meal 9. Are you stopping at the first sign of fullness? a. Sometimes it’s a whisper: not hungry, had enough b. Hard stop versus soft stop 10. Do not eat between meals. Stop grazing. 11. Do not eat when you are not hungry C. You may need an activity adjustment 1. Are you getting in 30 minutes of physical activity at least 3 times a week? a. Over and above what you would do in the usual course of your day b. Could you make it 4 or 5 times a week? c. Could you make it 45 or 60 minutes? 2. Are you taking advantage of opportunities to increase your physical activity? a. Taking the stairs instead of the elevators or escalators b. Walking on the escalators instead of riding c. Parking your car further away from the entrance d. Getting out of the car instead of using the drive through e. Getting off the bus one stop before your destination f. Washing you car by hand instead of the car wash g. Playing with your kids D. You may need an attitude adjustment 1. Are you committed to your weight loss journey? 2. Are you totally honest with yourself about how much you are eating and exercising? a. Log your food and activity on ww.fitday.com for 3 days 3. Are you using food inappropriately to deal with emotional issues? a. Have you identified what the emotions are that drive your eating? b. Can you think of more appropriate ways to deal with those emotions? c. Are you willing to seek help from a qualified counselor? 4. Are you attending and participating in support group meetings? 5. Have you drummed up some support from your family and friends? 6. Have you dealt with saboteurs realistically? 7. Do you have realistic expectations about the weight loss journey? 8. Are you still obsessing about food, weight, dieting, eating? a. Obsessive – compulsive thoughts (1) Obsess about something else b. Perfectionism (1) All or none, black and white thinking c. Patience with the pace of healthy weight loss 9. Are you acknowledging your successes with non-food rewards? 10. Have you learned how to take a compliment? 11. Are you giving up diet mentality? a. Stop weighing yourself several times a day or every day b. Stop dieting c. Stop depriving yourself d. Stop defining food as “good” and “bad” e. Stop rewarding and punishing yourself with food 12. How do you feel about all the changes taking place? E. You may need a band adjustment 1. You feel like you are making healthy food choices in appropriate portion sizes but getting hungry between meals? 2. You can still eat white bread, fibrous vegetables and large portions. 3. You are having to struggle to lose 4. You are gaining weight in spite of eating right, exercising and having a good mind set. F. You may need your band loosened 1. There are times when you can’t get fluids down 2. You are vomiting too much a. How much is too much? 3. Do you have frequent reflux or heartburn at night? a. Do not lie flat or bend over soon after eating b. Do not eat late at night or just before bedtime c. Rinse your pouch with a glass or water an hour before bedtime d. Certain foods or drinks are more likely to cause reflux: (1) Rich, spicy, fatty and fried foods (2) Chocolate (3) Caffeine (4) Alcohol (5) Some fruits and vegetables a. Oranges, lemons, tomatoes, peppers (6) Peppermint a. Baking soda toothpaste (7) Carbonated drinks e. Eat slowly and do not eat big meals f. If you smoke, quit smoking g. Reduce stress h. Exercise promotes digestion i. Raise the head of your bed j. Wear loose fitting clothing around your waist k. Stress increases reflux l. Take estrogen containing medications in the morning m. Avoid aspirin, Aleve and ibuprofen at bedtime (1) Tylenol is OK n. Take an antacid (Pepcid complete) before retiring o. Try other over-the-counter heartburn medications p. See your health care provider 4. See your health care provider immediately (or call 911) if a. You have a squeezing, tightness or heaviness in your chest, especially if the discomfort spreads to your shoulder, arm or jaw or is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, irregular or fast heartbeat or nausea. These could be symptoms of a heart attack. b. If your symptoms are triggered by exercise. c. If your pain localizes to your right side, especially if you also have nausea or fever d. If you throw up vomit that looks like black sand or coffee grounds. Or if your stool is black, deep red or looks like it has tar in it. These are symptoms of bleeding and need immediate attention. (Note: Pepto-Bismol or other medications with bismuth will turn your stool black. Iron supplements can also make the stool tarry.) e. If your pain is severe
  3. To change your CUSTOM TITLE: Go to the MY ACCOUNT link Located at the top of page. Click on the Edit Profile in the Left menu box under Settings & Options. The second box that says OPTIONAL INFORMATION you should see CUSTOM USER TITLE that is where you can change the title to whatever you like. Then click save changes. To change your CUSTOM AVATAR: Click on the MY ACCOUNT located at the top of page. Then click on the Edit Profile Picture link located on the LEFT side of page. In the box that says CUSTOM AVATARS FROM YOUR COMPUTER click on the browse box and find the pic you want to use for your new Avatar. Then click Save changes. Some people are not showing either of these options. I am have emailed Alex and let him know the problems.
  4. Penni60

    I'm THAT Special...

    Roasrio, I am so sorry to hear of your issue. My recovery was much better than the initial surgery. I was up and around the very next day. They took out the band the exact same way they put it in, Laparoscopically. Did you mean the same doctor put in the band or the same doctor is taking out the band?
  5. Penni60

    Pouch stretching??

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news but an erosion can't be diagnosed with a barium swallow. Only a slip or a stretch can be diagnosed with a barium. Well let me clarify this. The erosion can be diagnosed with a barium if it leaks to the outside of your stomach, but let's face it if it is that bad then off to surgery you go. The erosion can only be definitively diagnosed with an Endoscopy (the doc takes a scope with a camera and light on the end of a flexible tube and puts this down your throat to look at your stomach and esophagus). And even then if the doc doesn't turn the scope around and look back at it's entry into the stomach an erosion can be missed. Mine was almost missed if the doc hadn't done this technique. I was eroded 50% into my stomach and had NO symptoms. I had the band in for 18 months. I am one of the old bandsters that checks in every now and then. Don't feel the need to check in when you aren't banded anymore. And don't have the warm fuzzies that I used to when I came here so often a few years ago. I wish you all well and happy losing.
  6. It was hard day for me finding out Tuesday and then jumping immediately from the gamut of emotions to thinking about surgery all in the same day. I left our house Tuesday morning at 5:30am headed to Ventura for the Endoscopy so Dr. Billy could check out the band. None of us thought I had eroded. Even Dr. Billy was surprised. I did hear him say, "I don't know how she knew but she did." I had not been "feeling" right for the last month. But I couldn't put my finger on it. Then a Michelle was diagnosed with Erosion and that got me scared. I immediately called Billy's office and asked for the Endo. They got it scheduled right away. OK so after the Endo is done, he takes the tube out of my throat and I say, "Did I just hear you say I am eroded?" He said yes. I then just shut down. I cry immediately and never heard another word for a few minutes. I then had to have a silent talk with myself and get it together. I had a decision to make and quick. Billy told me that the band was eroded but it was not a life-threatening situation. He did say we can take it off that night. He said we can work you into the schedule and take it off. He also told me that I could wait till after the holidays if I wanted. I told him to go ahead and schedule the surgery. I did not want to wait hoping there would not be any complications later. He was also leaving town on the 15th and I would have to go to Tahoe and have the procedure done there if I developed complications and wanted him to do it. Mind you all these thoughts and emotions I was experiencing while I was still on the table after the ENDO procedure. I hadn't even left the room yet. When Billy left the room to check on something for me I just broke down and bawled my eyes out. I was facing losing the ONE thing that had worked for me in my weight loss battle. I was scared, mad, angry, frustrated, hurt, disappointed, discouraged, deflated, why me, why now, every negative emotion you can think of I think I experienced it while I was on that ENDO table. Billy came back into the room and said for me to stop by his office before I left to make sure I knew what I was making a decision about. He was concerned that since I was under the influence of the ENDO sedation that I might not be making an informed choice. Believe me when he said I was eroded I was very alert and aware of what my decision would be. It had to come out. And it had to come out that night. So, John and I stopped by Billy's office and he told us to go home if we wanted and to call him at 4p so he could tell us what the plan of action was. So John and I headed home. On the way home, we briefly discussed the options and I wanted the band removed that day. I barely was home long enough to send out a few emails and make a couple of calls to let people know what was going on. At 4p on Tuesday I called Billy. He said to go to Admitting and he would have paperwork ready for me. Initially the surgery was set up for 7p but I was a work in remember so I didn't get into surgery till 9p. I got back to my room at around 2am on Wednesday. Don't know how long the surgery was, but Billy said it typically takes 2 hours. That would make sense. Two hours in surgery and at least an hour to an hour and a half in recovery. I don't remember much about that night. Wednesday after I woke up, I was sore and had to go for an upper GI to rule out any perforation before they would let me drink anything. The UPPER GI was all clear, so I started on a clear liquid diet that day. I was able to get up and go to the bathroom and to walk some. Thursday, Billy came in and took out my drain and sent me home. THANK GOD!! I am now recuperating and getting stronger every day. It has been a struggle and I am adjusting to the notion that I don't have this tool anymore. I can't really feel different yet because I am still on Clear Liquids. I can start on mushie foods after tomorrow, Saturday. IT will be a hard battle, but with the knowledge I have learned thus far with the band I will use knowing I don't have the band. SIGH!! It has been a long time since I could eat large quantities of food. Just tonight I was eating some Soup and was concerned when I went to regular food how the band was going to react. Weird like some phantom is hovering over me still. I would compare it to when someone loses an arm or leg. The arm or leg can still be felt but logically you know it isn't there. Billy used 3 of my old scars and used a 4th scar from my tubal ligation from years ago. I am really not in alot of pain but every now and then I feel a tug or a burn and I am reminded that yes I did just have the band removed. So I take a half of a pill and that quiets the pain. With my history of depression it would be so easy to slip into a dark hole but I can't and won't allow myself to even look inside that hole. If I start to fall I am afraid I won't come back out. I have fought too hard to get to the point I am now. I won't let myself regress. My parting words: When you don't "feel" right, check it out. When you know something is off but you can't put a name to it, check it out. Be Proactive in your how health care, check it out. Don't let someone else tell you "it isn't necessary", check it out. I say all this with all the love and compassion I can muster cause I don't want any of you to look back and wish you had and didn't. I am mentally accepting of the outcome. I am physically healing and taking it slow. I can have another band in 6 months. I will go see Dr. Billy in a month for a check up. He said we will discuss my options at that time. He also said he would support me in whatever decision I made whether it be surgery or not. What a great and caring Doc. I have said on here that I might consider the DS operation. I now know that I will NOT have any other surgery. I am through with surgeries for now. I am gonna fight the good battle with nutrition and exercise. Shoot you might see me on the next "Biggest Loser". LOL!!! Thanks for the support. HUGS
  7. From what I remember when I was banded my doc told me that the carbination in the drinks can cause discomfort like an overfill of your stomach due to the gas bubbles but it is short lived. If you drink alot of carbinated beverages then it could stretch the pouch but so can overeating. He mainly did not want me to drink carbinated beverages due to the empty calories. That was his MAIN issue.
  8. Penni60

    My Erosion Experience

    Just wanted to re-emphasize that listening to your body and your intuition is a GOOD THING. If something just doesn't sound right or too good to be true then it probably isn't. Dr. Lopez was a greatly skilled surgeon and came highly recommended when I had my initial band placed in 2004. I had every confidence that he would take care of me and provide the aftercare. I was sadly mistaken in my assumptions. If you want to know specific details of my story just do a search of my name and you will find all kinds of entries about my story. I have talked endlessly with Inamed (as it was called back then) about their practice of "certifying a surgeon". It was shocking as I am an RN and know the ins and outs of healthcare. If I had known then what I know now I would NEVER have gone to Mexico for the surgery. NEVER! That is me not you. So if you are OK with going to MX and feel comfortable with that decision then go for it. Hello to all my old friends here. I don't post as often as I used to and that is partly due to several reasons. The big one is I don't have a band anymore and don't feel I have a dog in this fight anymore. The other is I don't feel I can contribute to this site anymore. But I do check in every now and then.
  9. I am one of the 12 "Unbanded due to Erosion"
  10. Penni60

    slippage and erosion

    I should have prefaced my post to say that my information is from about a year ago. So Inamed/Allergan could have changed their policy since then. If so then I stand corrected. I still don't agree with the policy simply because of my past experience with the company.
  11. Penni60

    slippage and erosion

    Hey there YeS IT IS ME!!! I have been preoccupied with work and going back to school for my BSN lately. How are you these days? How are your kids?
  12. Penni60

    slippage and erosion

    Just to clarify something, I think it is wrong to say it is the patients fault for something and it is the doctors fault for something. Fault should not be placed for a complication unless it is blatantly obvious. No one knows for sure what causes slips, erosions, etc. It is just too grey an area. There is speculation as to what MIGHT have caused the problem but to say it is the patients fault for this but not this is unprofessional and immoral in my opinion.
  13. I was disbanded due to erosion not rejection. I think you sent me a PM on this same subject. LOL!! I still have friends on this site and I love to help if I can.
  14. Something to consider here (by the way I am an RN and have accessed many Ports for cancer patients), the ports cancer patients have are similar but not the same as lapband ports. The other thing to consider is when RN's access the Ports for cancer patients we are injecting fluid into a large cavity and volume is not as important an issue as injecting into the lapband port. The last time I spoke to Inamed they made it clear to me that they do NOT certify anyone to give the fills. ONLY doctors are acceptible personnel to give the fills. There are people out there that claim to be certified and just to give everyone a head's up there is no such thing out there. Please call Inamed and verify this information before having someone touch you. If you use someone that is not properly trained and you develop complications then you are out the money to correct your problems. You have no recourse. I personally would NOT want to inject for a fill simply based on my prior experience accessing ports for cancer patients. There is a whole different procedure, access sites, complications that can arise, not to mention putting too much saline in and causing more issues. JUST MY OPINION!!
  15. Penni60

    slippage and erosion

    Wow so many questions. LOL!! Not going to get banded again. Surgeon said there was too much scar tissue from the initial surgery and risk of erosion is higher with a second band. He suggested a bypass instead. NOT interested in that. I lost 70 lbs when I had the band. I have since gained 50 of that back. But have maintained this weight for 6 months now. SO that is something. While I had the band I hated it and loved it. I really wasn't in the right mind set at the time for the band. I saw it as a quick fix and didn't use it as a tool to LEARN the right way to eat. I have mixed feelings about the band now. It does work and it did work for me, but if I had to do it again I just don't know if I would go that route again. I am struggling every day with my weight. I am educating myself on the proper way to eat and exercise. It is hard and will be a forever battle for me. I can't take a day off to cheat. I will spiral down into that well again and I don't wanna go back there. Lots of luck and I wish you well with your journey.
  16. I had some kind of reaction right after I had the band placed. I questioned if I was rejecting the band but my surgeon said it was rare and because of the kind of material the band was made of it was highly unlikely anyone would be allergic to it. Hope that helped. BY the way, my symptoms was a rash. Nothing else.
  17. Penni60

    slippage and erosion

    Erosion is not always the banded persons fault. I take exception to any doc that says the patient is at fault. I am an RN by the way. I also eroded after having the band for 18 months. The surgeon that took out my band was not the surgeon that put it in. The surgeon that took it out said there was a stitch that irritated the stomach wall and over time caused the outer lining to erode and allowed the band to enter my stomach. So it CAN be the docs fault too. There are no real definitive reasons someone erodes. Even the band manufacturer told me this. The surgeon that took mine out told me this. Just my opinion.
  18. Had my visit with Dr. Billy yesterday. By the way I have gained 30 lbs since I was disbanded in Dec 2005. UGH!! OY VEY!! I now weigh 270. Anyway, we discussed my options both surgical and non-surgical. He said he would be afraid to attempt another band in me for several reasons. Mainly due to previous scaring from the first band and if this one erodes too that limits my options to other surgeries. He wouldn't suggest the Duodenal Switch for me since I don't need to lose that much weight. And I don't like the malabsorption with that surgery either. He said I am one of FEW patients he would even consider doing the Gastric Sleeve on. For the most part he thinks I should research and discuss the Bypass with my family. He wasn't pushing any ONE surgery he was giving me all the options and the drawbacks to each surgery. I asked him to give me his opinion as to which one I would benefit most from. He suggest the Bypass then. He also gave me a 6 page list of patients both bypass and lapband that are willing to talk to potential patients. So I am going to start emailing some of the bypass people and get some input from them. He seems very confident that I would benefit more from the bypass as opposed to the sleeve. So I have some research and decisions to make. I go back to see him in 6 weeks. I might not have a decision made then either. I gotta think about this some more. I just know that I can't continue like I am. I am only 28 lbs away from where I started just before being banded. THAT SUCKS!!!
  19. I am sure some of you don't even know who I am but there are a few old lapbanders out there that still remember me. Anyway, my youngest daughter just had my 8th grandchild and I just had to share pics. He is a doll and it killed me to leave him when I flew home. SIGH!! Austin Wade Donaldson Born: July 18, 2007 at 6:34pm Weight: 6 lbs; 15 oz Length: 20.5 inches
  20. I had the same reaction when I would get a fill. I took pics and showed my band doc and all he could think was that I was sensitive the saline and some could have been injected as he removed the needle causing the allergic reaction. I will include a pic of what mine looked like and let me know if this is what yours looked like. Mind you this is larger than what you mentioned but the same reaction was evident. We first thought I was rejecting the port but since found out that wasn't the case. I talked to my band surgeon and he said to just take a benadryl prior to my fills and see if it helped. IT DID!! So maybe try that. I would have to put Hydrocortisone cream on the site to ease the itching and rash.
  21. I was banded by Dr. Lopez Corvala. Had nothing but complications from the beginning. He didn't do follow up with me when I ran into issues about two months into the surgery unrelated to eating or following band rules. I had an infection that was not followed up by him after repeated phone calls to his office. My tubing almost protruded through my abdomen to the outside of my body because he screwed up the initial surgery. Mind you this was over two years ago so things might have been settled now. There were at least 4 of us on here that were all banded by the good Dr Lopez with a month of each other and we all had to have our bands removed due to erosion. My band surgeon that removed the band for me told me that he suspected a misplaced stitch during the initial surgery caused the erosion. So beware of going to MEXICO for any surgery because there is NO recourse for botched surgeries, they don't have to follow US standards of care, some US docs won't touch MX patients, if you have complications then you have to come to the states to get adequate care, etc. Just be a cautious patient and ask lots of questions prior to surgery.
  22. Penni60

    4 year bandster with problems (crosspost)

    Hey there Babs: Glad to hear from you. Sorry for all your issues. My insurance stated they would not pay for the removal either when I had erosion but the doc coded it as an emergency and the insurance paid all but $1000 of the procedure. I think your insurance would cover it if it was deemed an emergency. Just a thought. I am very concerned about your band health. When they did the endoscopy did the person doing the procedure know to look for erosion? Just a thought. Mine wasn't easy to spot since it was under the lip where the band is placed. The doc had to turn the scope around and look back at itself to diagnose the erosion. I too have thought about the sleeve. My band doc won't do the procedure because he considers it half a surgery. I would want that one over the bypass myself. I know it is frustrating to go through all this. And to have gained some of your weight back is even more frustrating. I can relate. Have you called Inamed to get some recommendations for surgeons? They might be able to at least give you a list. HUGS
  23. Penni60

    No more Lap Bands in my future :(

    Thanks Betty and Patty. I have missed all you guys. I was thinking about all of you the other day and thought I would post an update. So what has been going on around here lately?
  24. Penni60

    New Grandson - From an old Lapbander

    Thanks Betty for the comment. He is a doll and I miss him so much already. I am just too far from all my grandkids.
  25. Penni60

    need a surgeon in CA

    Dr. Helmuth Billy in Ventura, Ca is wonderful. He took care of me after my Mexico lapband placement. He is great and so compassionate. I can give you his phone number to get more info if you like. Just let me know.

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