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LAP-BAND Patients
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Everything posted by Odi

  1. Odi

    Suddenly too tight...again

    Yep, unfills have been part of my life. After I was banded in 06 I went as high as 2.8 cc's then started going down. All the way to 1.0 cc's. Then I tried to go back up but could only get to 1.4 cc's. I have the smaller band, I believe it's 10 cc's. Then just in December of 08 had a Gallbladdar attack on new years eve eve. Sent me to the ER after 4 hours of contstant stabbing pain. Got the Gallbladdar out on New's Eve and all my Fluid out in a few days after that. Now looking back, my dr says the Gallbladdar problems could have made it tighter. I'm starting to get filled again, just went last tues and went up from 1.2 to 1.6 and am dying again. Can't drink much liquids. After I left the dr's office I was fine and the next 2 days, then all of the sudden, closed up like ft knox! Yes TOM is here. I'm going back tomorrow to get an unfill. It is extremely frustrating. I think total I have had 15 fills/unfills. I thought it would be less work. Especially now since my insurance changed and isn't covering the fills as of Jan 09. Just this year I've already had 4 visits. My dr is very watchful on fills and I haven't ever gotten more than .5 cc's. So yes it can happen. In my case, it's never calmed down on it's own. I even waiting a month one time thinking it will get back to normal, trying to tough it out. But by that time I did loose 20 lbs (I think lots of Water weight), but it came right back after they took all my fluid out and I felt like crap from not eating. Some people are very sensitive, myself included and others are less. But I agree, if your in pain and can't get any food down and not even liquid, go back for an unfill. I'm 3 years out and only down 30 lbs, but I'm not giving up! And I do agree with the Tool side of it. I think for me it's part of my body and part of me not following complete directions.
  2. Hello, sorry for such a late response on this. I don't check the forum as often as I should. Really only when I'm having a problem. Feel free to email me chantersamo@yahoo.com.

  3. I grew up husky (as they called it). Never was thin. I graduated HS at over 200. Then my first year of college did alot of walking and went down 40 lbs or so. Then started creeping back up. Got pregnant 12 years out of HS and gained 60 lbs. I wasn't able to get rid of it. Went on to have 2 more kids (all c-section). I started having more health problems, depression and severe back pain. More and more aches and pains. Migraines started coming on more frequently. I started hearing more about gastric bypass but didn't want something so severe. Had some distant friends have the surgery and they had good success. Starting hearing more about lap band and did some research. I liked the idea that it was reversible, and no major malnutrition. At the time the company I worked for wouldn't cover any weight loss medical stuff. Not even an appointment with a dr. I switched companies and started to look at it more seriously. Went to a meeting that dr was holding at a local hotel. It all sounded good. I was ready! I worked with the dr to see about how my insurance would pay for it. At the time I has BCBS of KY, even though I was in Colorado. They said I needed 6 months of dr supervised weight loss visits to my primary care. I started going. Didn't loose any weight during this time, but I kept the appointments and did what I needed to. Then I kept in touch with the case nurse of the lap band dr. It was amazing, apparently not many people stick with going to see the primary when the insurance forces them to. It's soooo easy to just go. I know it can be depressing, but if you don't go and complete it, they're definitely gonna turn you down. In my 5th of my 6 months of visiting with my primary, I started making arrangements for the mental health eval with the bariatric dr. I was done with my 6 months visting my primary. No weight loss. I think I might even have gained. We resubmitted the info to the insurance and I was approved. I had the surgery in Greeley Colorado on March 23, 2006. Things went well afterward. The only issue I've had is swelling/too tight. I have lost weight and switched dress sizes. Would I do it again....absoloutely! It's not the cure all end all. Just this year I have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This is something I've been seeing my primary for since 2004. I was also diagnosed with severe sleep apnea in January. Which I had a finger sleep test from my primary and another one from the bariatric dr that came back negative. I had a full sleep study in January and as of March 2008 have been using Positive Airway Pressure mask/machine at night. My biggest struggle has been my fatigue. I work full time, have 3 kids and don't spend time on structured exercise. I am able to get out and walk, bike, etc. I feel if I had exercised more, I would have lost more by now. But it's still weight I have lost. I still struggle to eat better and make better choices. I did have one point were I was unfilled .8 Cc's and gained 30 lbs back. It's okay, it's all a continuous improvement plan. I'm still down from a size 26 to and 18/20. I'll take that any day of the week. I feel better, don't get aches in my knees and legs. It is not a magic bullet. It does work on the hunger. Before surgery I would get ravenous. I wanted to eat anything and everything. There are times now where not eating doesn't bother me. Stick with it! baby steps if need be! And by all means DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS! This is an indivual process. It may be quick or it may take longer. But you will loose weight, feel better, eat better. My dr said they have patients 5 years out that are still loosing weight. If that's what it takes me, that's simply what it takes. Every day I learn a little more about this and how it works. I was happy to ready earlier today that some women during menstruation tighten. I now think that's me and it's a nice piece to remember. Good luck! Do what's right for you! If you choose to have this done, do your research and really analyze it. If you hear someone is bad, rethink it, don't push it under the rug. They're are plenty of good dr's and staff out there! Here's to all of us :biggrin:
  4. Yes Was banded in March 2006. His staff is very thorough. They have done lots of bands and gastric bypass. His staff is very knowledgable. They pay attention to the little things, like bigger chairs in the waiting room. The staff knows your name and he has a case nurse that will work with you until you get your surgery. My insurance made me wait 6 months and do a dr supervised weight loss. They called me monthly. They are very caring. They do a info session b4 to let you know what to expect. They have after care classes and monthly meetings. I've never had them turn me down for any questions asked. They do have emergency appts if necessary. He has people to handle all aspects. Insurance, Psych pre tests, Nutrition, etc. They are up in Greeley but do have fill appts in Lafayette once a week. (I hope they expand this, appts are getting harder to get) He did the original surgery, but I see a PA when getting fills. Either Steve or Paula. They're equally good at what they do. And Steve is quite handsome, so there's a plus! His two nurses are excellent! I always enjoy seeing them. The only thing I don't like is the drive You can find some more stats stuff here: Dr. Michael W. Johnell, M.D., F.A.C.S. Performing Minimally Invasive Gastric Bypass Surgery
  5. Odi

    New from Colorado

    I had my surgery with Dr Johnell in May 2006. He's very thorough and tries to be on the safe side. I was taking Depression meds when I first had my surgery. He suggested one year of counseling to handle any issues. It's all worked out fine. He's got a good staff and they are even now having appts in Lafayette once a week, although they book up fast. I would say just be honest and let them make the recommendation of what needs to be done. I am in Westminster and would love to talk with people who have had Lapband.
  6. I did do the 6 month weight loss and didn't loose but maybe 5lbs. Does it hurt your chance for surgery? For me it definitely did not. When I was going for the updates monthly, the nurse that was with the Bariatric dr told me how many people don't go through with it. Every month I would show up to the PCP office and weigh in. Then I would call and talk with the Bariatric nurse. It seems they (the insurance companies) do this as a test for those that want the surgery. If you give up and don't go through with the 6 months worth of visits, then their take is your not serious about everything after the surgery. The updates and the diet, etc. That is the attitude the insurance companies take. They do this because many many people drop out and won't go through with it. From what I understand from the Bariatric Nurse, very few people that have to do the 6 months do it. Like 25%. Just go and show up. Don't pressure yourself on losing weight. Try, but don't knock yourself out if you don't. Make the appointment and show up! The 6 months will go by quickly. That was one of my issues before surgery. I was hungry all the time. True hunger pains. I would eat lightly and then be hungry. This will be taken care of when you have the surgery. But in the mean time, do what you need to, to get the insurance to approve you. Good Luck!
  7. Yes, once I have irritation I am PBing much, that is when I can keep something down. And yes to stress. I took a new job a few months back that just is soooo stressful. Usually when I start PBing alot, I just stay away from food. Try to drink Water, tea, etc. I just find that it seems to be irritated alot. I've been given nexium and had unfills. Yes, it definitely is a cycle. I can go for 2-3 days without eating but one meal total. Then can eat something then it seems like it flares right back up. Thanks for the advice, :biggrin2: I think a log may help. Seeing it, is much easier than trying to remember what you had and what the result was with swelling/tightness.
  8. This is definitely a continuing learning process. I have been in for fills/unfills probablly a dozen times now. Today I went in because I was wasn't able to drink anything for several days now. I had 1.8 cc's in a 10cc band. So we took some out. But I asked to look over my history of fills/unfills. A year ago I was as high as 2.8 cc's and was loosing weight fine and able to eat. So they sent me down for an upper GI x ray. My band/stomach was so tight it looked like the trickle running down was no larger than a needle. They sent me back up to the dr and they went down to 1.cc. Told me to leave it there for a month. What am I doing wrong? Why/How is it getting so irritated? Has anyone else experienced this sort of issue? I chew well and eat slow. I don't eat potatoes, cause I know they pain me. Any ideas or suggestions would be welcomed. I'm just worried now that I'll be gaining. Seeing that I'm still trying to play catchup from gaining 20+ lbs. I'm down close to 15 of those, but really want to continue loosing.
  9. Oh my gosh! I wish it was only 5 for me. I had been banded for a year and a half and got it loosened because it was too tight. Had some reflux and hearbearn with Water. After the unfill, I went out and ate everything and anything. Now I'm trying desperately to relose the weight I lost and gained back. It only took me three months to This band is truly a tool. It's not completely up to the band on how much you can eat. It's a learning process for all of us. Also have to remind ourselves what it's purpose is for. You can gain weight with the band, and will if you don't manage it. Push that defeat aside and vow to do better. We all get a little sidetracked.
  10. I grew up in the Windy City where eating is a way of life. pizza every Friday and every event revolves around food. I was an overweight child and grew into an overweight adult. Lots of diets. Many bad eating habits. I was never huge, just big. I decided after having kids and c-sections that weight loss was too hard to do alone. I liked the idea of gastric bypass, but didn't like the method. Then I saw banding and knew that was for me. The job I had at the time didn't cover any weight loss. What a croc. I didn't want to pay for the banding seeing that it was going to cost upwards of $20K. I waited and got a job where it was covered. I was nervous about getting it and excited at the same time. I found a Bariatric Dr from a search on the internet and went for a visit. I found Dr. Michael Johnell in Greeley Colorado. He's got a great record and has been doing both for years. His staff is kind and cognicent of bigger folks. Simple things like bigger chairs and bigger scales. They told me they would work with my insurance and find out what I needed. At that time I had a bmi of 47 with no co-morbidities. But I didn't want any! I found out that like many of you, I had to do the 6 month dr supervised weight loss.:tt2: I was a little bummed out, but was ready. Every month I showed up to my dr's office to weigh in. She gave me some meds that didn't help with hunger. And every month after my appt the Bariatric dr's office called and urged me to keep going. I did. I was really suprised to hear that most people just stop going. DON'T. Just show up. Get weighed and prove to the insurance company that you can make and keep an appointment. If you don't, they win! I finally got done with that and didn't loose any weight, no surprise. What did they think I wanted the band for? I went for all the Psych testing the bariatric dr requires and I was ready. I got my date March 23 2006. I can't remember when the dr told me he would like me to loose 10%, but I did end up loosing about 13 lbs before surgery. He wanted 15. They ask you to do this because when your overweight, your liver swells and it makes it harder to do the surgery to work with the liver. I was dead sick that day. Worst migraine I ever had. Throwing up and all. After the surgery I was fine. And the days and weeks after was relatively easy. I found the way the lapband works and the way they tighten it, is such a good pace that there is no drastic sense of loss. My biggest hurdle has been exercise. I am so tired most of the time. This was a problem b4 I had the surgery. I was just diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome last month that has been around for 4 years. I've lost weight, but not enough to my liking. I went from 285 to 235. I was down to 220 but got the band loosen and gained some. So it is true you can gain weight with the band. But at least my BMI has dropped. Now down to 39. I am very glad I had it done. I can admit I haven't exercised much. Just with feeling so tired. By the time I get home from work, I'm exhausted. And then there are kids to take care of etc. I have no more aches and pains. My clothes are easier to buy and wear. Went from size 26 down to 18/20. I can actually wear a L at times. That feels good. Looking for some inspiration and looking forward to hearing others stories.
  11. That is stinkin thinkin. I too had to wait the 6 months and had no comorbidities. Like the Nike commercial, Just Do It! You'll be glad you did. And forget about what you feel your missing. When you get there you'll be glad. Enjoy the ride!
  12. Odi

    So lost....

    You can't go by which insurance company you have. If you are employed, they pick which parts and sections to allow for the benefits. I worked at a company that offered BCBS and it was not a covered item. Even though some policies for BCBS they are covered. I was working for a company where I had Humana PPO. They did pay for it. I would start with your insurance. Call them. Ask them if you have the benefit and what you would need to do. Then find a dr that is willing to help you get the surgery. Mine was very helpful in working with me and the insurance company to get approved. I'm in Colorado and used Dr. Michael Johnell. Very satisfied. My insurance made me do the 6 month Dr Supervised weight loss. I did it. Saw the dr once a month for 6 months. Just show up. Don't get upset about having to loose weight b4 the surgery and don't give up. The insurance feels like if you wont go every month for 6 months, then you won't follow the program after you get the surgery. And unfortunately they are right! If you have to wait the 6 months, do it. It's still worth it. Once you do find a dr to perform surgery, they usually ask you to loose 10% of your weight anyway. It helps to have the liver shrink b4 they do surgery and makes surgery much easier for them. Anyway, as I said I had Humana and I only ended up paying about $700 total for a $34k surgery. So Call your Insurance and ask them if it's covered. Ask them what they require and find a dr that you trust. Ask around. People are glad to tell you which dr's were good and definitely which ones were bad! Good Luck!