Lab-Band Weight Loss

VSG Weight Loss

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Yeah... met my Thanksgiving Goal! :-)

Let's forget about the infection for a moment. Even though I am in pain since the port removal surgery, especially since they closed the hole... Today is all about celebrating because today is the biggest day for me since moving to Lap-Band-Land!
  • I met my first mini-goal
  • I have lost a total of 40 pounds
  • I am no longer morbidly obese
  • My new BMI is 39.9
  • I have "only" 100 pounds to go (instead of 140) to reach my goal weight of 155 pounds.
  • I set an aggressive goal and reached that goal!
  • The scale shows 255 instead of 295
  • It was not that difficult to lose the 40 pounds
  • I got rid of the diet-mentality 
  • I am feeling so much better and happier.

Update on the Infection front:
I had the port removal surgery last Friday, my surgeon did not close the hole and it was very weird to live with a hole by the belly button. It bothered me a great deal because I had to change the dressing 3 times a day and even though I enjoyed playing "Doctor" as a child I am not really into that any longer. On Tuesday I went to my surgeon's office, I cannot remember that I ever experienced something so painful. He cleaned the hole and then closed it with stitches. I felt like I could not take the pain and cried and screamed. The area is very sensitive, not the wound itself but the surrounding area, it feels like some "nerves" are very upset. It looks like it is healing okay. Today the pain got a little better but I still need painkillers throughout the day and night. On Tuesday I will see my surgeon again but I have no idea when the port will be put back. Since I still have strong restriction I do not care that much, right now I just want to be without pain and start working out again.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US-based bandster friends! I will definitely reward myself with a delicious piece of Pecan pie :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Port removal - It's done - Living without a port!

It's done... my port has been removed on Friday morning. My surgery was scheduled for 7:15 am and I had to be there at 5:15 am, way too early for me... but this way I could not worry too much.

When we arrived at the hospital I had to follow the same procedure as for the initial lap-band surgery except that it took place on a different floor. Everybody was extremely nice, caring and professional. After I changed into the "sexy" surgery outfit they took my weight and the hospital scale displayed 254.5 lbs which made me extremely happy... but since I do not go by the hospital scale it does not mean that my scale at home will display the same weight. At any rate... it made me happy because in that very moment I was not an morbidly obese person :-)

I mentioned it already in my earlier postings that I have a severe needle-into-my-veins-phobia and during the last couple of days I had some horrible experiences. For the pre-surgery blood test I was sent to one of those diagnostics centers on Wednesday and met the rudest nurse EVER. She did not care, yelled at me and even insulted me because of my accent. No idea what her problem was. I surely hope that she does not have any children. Then on Friday at the hospital an anesthesiologist student was trying to put the IV needle in but couldn't do it. He tried 4 times at different locations but did not hit the vein. After that I was so frustrated that I asked for a "real" anesthesiologist to put in the IV because I couldn't take this try and miss the vein any longer. He put it in with the first try and it was not painful at all. However, my arms and wrists are all blue and green from all the trials.

Then everything went very fast, my surgeon arrived, my doctor arrived (no idea why he was there), my husband was called in and I tried to convince everyone that I do not need/want general anesthesia... the last time I felt so horrible that I did not want to go through all of it again. So they gave me propofol  instead and I knocked out and cannot remember much.

My surgeon took my port out... AND he managed for me to keep my restriction! YEAH!!!! So now I do not care how long this healing process will take because I still have my restriction.

Even though I wish that I had never gotten this infection in the first place, it was important for me that my surgeon found out what kind of an infection I have and since it is a staph infection (staphylococcus aureus) it was also important for me to have the port removed. Unfortunately the antibiotics will not work on the port (or any implant for that matter) and some surgeons believe that there is a  strong connection between infections and that they (if not treated 100%) may later lead to erosion of the band. This is not a chance I want to take.

Sorry, TMI... my surgeon did not close up the port area, so I am living with a hole at my belly button area until Tuesday. It is stuffed with gauze and I have to remove it 3 times a day and have to keep it wet with Saline. Not something that is very pleasant to do. But this way most part of the infection can leak out. It is not that bad especially since it is so much less painful than when the port was still inside.

I am feeling good, have no pain and most importantly I still have a restriction. No idea when the port will be put back in... but will definitely keep you informed.

Thank you very much for your positive words, motivation, encouragement... you are the best cheering squad anyone can have... you guys are the BEST!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Verdict: Infection! :-(

My worst fear has become a reality, I indeed have an infection.

During the next couple of days I will have to undergo all the pre-op procedures for clearance again and have my port removed. I do not know all the whens and whats yet but will keep you informed. All I know is that the port will be removed soon and that I may lose my restriction since it is complicated to clip the lap-band tubing.

Need to be sad for a couple of hours and digest the bad news.

This is a major set-back for me and I am really starting to think that some force does not want me to get slim and puts those nasty obstacles in my path.

I will show you who will be slim very soon! Nothing and nobody will stop me!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Still waiting for the results....

I have not blogged in a week and I just want to give you all an update... have not received news on the results yet. The pain in the port area is still present and it really bothers me because it prevents me from working out. I have been down for the last couple of days and it upsets me that I have to deal with all of this. That's the reason why I did not feel like blogging, the moment I blog I have to face the fact that there may be an infection and until I know for sure I like to pretend that all is well.

At least on the scale front everything is going well for me. I have lost another 5 pounds (36 in total), said my good-byes to the 260s and I am only 4 pounds away from reaching my Thanksgiving goal of 255. Looking forward to that number very much because I won't be morbidly obese any longer and this number is a very important milestone in my journey.

Thank you for all your positive and motivating comments to my last blog entry. You are the greatest cheerleaders! I wish I could give you the same support right now and I promise that I will be back to my old self as soon as I know what is going on within my body.  Waiting for the verdict is the hardest part.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Infection or no Infection? Waiting on the verdict...

I went to see my surgeon today. He was totally unaware of why I came to his office and probably thought that I wanted another fill. I wish...

So I had to break the news to him that I am having port pain since more than a week and that it just does not feel right and that I think that something has to be wrong.

I have to admit that I was reading in the Complications section of almost all night and googled as much about infections as my brain was able to take. Poor People, I never really paid attention to that section before and my heart goes out to all the people that had complications. I was kind of worried to see my surgeon today because all that negative stuff on left a very bad taste in my mouth - especially when Doctors did not do right by their patients and one complication led to a series to other complications.

I am so utterly thankful that my surgeon did exactly what I expected him to do, without me telling him to do so. Even though I already knew that my surgeon is great, he completely renewed my confidence and trust in him.

My surgeon agreed that the area is red and he also felt that the area is warmer than other areas. He numbed the area first and then drew some liquid from the area. He wanted to see if there was pus around the port. There was no pus, however the liquid was not clear as it should be but milky. He asked me if I recently hurt myself because it could also be a reason for the liquid to be milky (from the fat).

So he will send in the liquids from the affected area and requests a culture. It is then placed in a container with a substance (called growth medium or culture medium) that helps organisms grow. If nothing important grows, the culture is negative. If something that can cause infection grows, the culture is positive. The type of organisms will be identified with a microscope, chemical tests, or both. (Source:

This will take approximately 10 days and then we will know for sure if it is an infection or not. And if it is an infection he will also know what kind of an infection and will be able to properly treat it with medications.

If it is an infection I will have a minor surgery to remove my port and it will be placed back once the infection is completely healed. :-(

On my drive back home I had one of my emotional break-downs that lasted 20 minutes. I just had to let it all out and had to cry.  This time it was a Beyonce Song, that switched my mood in a split second from total sadness to total happiness, because deep inside of me I just know that in the end all will be good. No matter if I have an infection or not... if my port has to be removed or not I will deal with it either way and will continue to have a positive outlook.

I am back home, took one of the crushed nasty-tasting antibiotic pills, still listening to Sweet Dreams and inviting positive energies into my life... because life it just too short than to waste it with worrying, sadness and negative thoughts! There is nothing I can do to change the outcome anyway.... So I will wait on my verdict with a smile on my face and hope for the best!

Will keep you up to date!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I am in pain! My port area hurts really bad!

First off all thank you for all your feedback and comments and a big, warm WELCOME to my new followers! I will address your questions once my pain subsides :-(

Over the weekend my port pain increased, so I called my surgeon's office today and scheduled an appointment for tomorrow. It just does not feel right and something has to be wrong. I am not too sensitive when it comes to pain and I have no clue what causes this pain.

A couple of hours ago the pain turned into a strong constant pain... it feels like an internal burning and it is painful just to stand, to lay down or to walk around. The only time the pain feels less painful is when I am sitting down.

The port area is red but it isn't warmer than any other areas of my stomach and I do not have a fever. The incision looks kind of normal, there is nothing leaking and it looks like a normal scar, just a little darker than the other ones.

My husband is totally over worried because he knows that I can take pain well and when I say I am in pain I am really in pain. He even wants to take me to the emergency room but I can hold on to it until tomorrow. I rather have my surgeon look at it than someone that may not even know what a lap-band is.

Please cross your fingers that this is not an infection and just something very minor and the pain goes away fast and for me to continue my journey with a huge smile on my face.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Weekly Weigh-in, Shoulder pain, Port pain... Am I getting old?

It all started on Sunday... I made my first unhealthy food-choice and my band punished me immediately. I got stuck, slimed and PBd... by far the worst and luckily only episode I have ever had. No idea what happened exactly, all I know is that it took 2.5 hours for the pain to subside. Out of lap-band land the following would sound a little like an eating disorder but within Lap-Band band land it seems to be acceptable. I really love my band... instead of eating a 650 calorie meal I was only able to eat 4 bites of it and those four bites didn't actually stay inside of me while I still got the satisfaction from having something I was craving for some time. Now I am completely "healed" because just the thought of that certain food makes me sick. The same happened to me with Bacardi almost 20 years ago and I was never able to drink it ever since.

On Monday I started getting port pain... I don't know if it was caused by my episode or if I tore a muscle/scar tissue while wrestling with my dog. Definitely something I need to keep an eye on. I can feel it when I move a certain way or if I want to sleep on my left side. Don't think that it is an infection but I have not completely ruled it out yet, because my belly button area is warm to the touch and it looks a little red-ish. However when I ask my husband to look at it he says that it is not red and that his belly button area is hotter than other areas as well. Will wait and monitor it until Monday and if the pain doesn't subside I will definitely call my surgeon.

Do you still have port pain once in a while? I have had surgery 8 weeks ago and I am not sure if I am overreacting or if I should be concerned.

Since Monday I am also getting left shoulder pain when eating certain foods. Not all foods cause shoulder pain but solid foods definitely do. No idea why this is happening out of the sudden and the only thing I can think off is that I either agitated my diaphragm or esophagus during my episode and the shoulder pain is referred pain similar to the gas pain that I experienced after surgery. It may also be caused by my last fill... and I am a little lost here because I do not know what to make of it.

Anyone experiences shoulder pain while eating?

I still have to figure out a lot of things regarding my band and I am not sure what is considered normal and what not.

I also want to share my good news with you.... I have lost 3 lbs last week and this brings my total weight loss to 31 lbs. Still working towards my Thanksgiving goal of 255 lbs... but will have to take exercising more serious starting tomorrow.

I hope all my fellow bandsters are doing great, I will catch up on your blogs once I hit the submit button.

Happy Weekend :-)