Lab-Band Weight Loss

VSG Weight Loss

Thursday, May 24, 2012

3 Weeks Revision Surgery Update

Pretty much recovered from revision surgery and feel as if nothing has happened.

On the weight-loss front things are happening! I almost forgot what losing weight feels like. I've lost 14.5 lbs since surgery and I am extremely happy.

I am still on a full liquid diet and have no idea what the sleeve actually feels like when it comes to eating food. Liquids are going down fine and I have not been "stuck" or felt any discomfort of any kind. Everything feels pretty normal.

The most amazing things that have happened since sleeve surgery:
  • Food and the smell of food disgust me.
  • Sweetness disgusts me even more and I have to force myself to drink the protein shakes. This already started in the hospital. I wish they would make them in neutral flavors.
  • I do not like soups. I made a chicken broth the other day and all I could think of was chicken farm smell. There is no way I will drink any chicken broth any time soon. Same applies to Broccoli soup, split pea soup or tomato soup. 
  • I have no hunger. Not even the slightest feeling of hunger. I have to force myself to drink 3 protein shakes (30g protein each) a day. I had to set-up an alarm in my cellphone as a reminder to drink/eat because I just don't feel it.
  • I do not like the taste of Cappuccino any longer (and I was a HUGE addict prior to surgery) I can only drink regular coffee with coffeemate powder (and I never liked coffeemate, go figure)
The funniest thing is that I have lost 46% of my excess weight within 3 weeks. My goal is 155 lbs and I "only" need to lose another 17 lbs. However, I am already thinking of lowering my goal weight.

So far, so good... The liquid diet is getting kind of difficult and I am craving chewing real food. I wish I could have some tuna salad or some soft Avocado. I am also excited to see what the sleeve will feel like but my surgeon likes me to be on liquids for 4 weeks. 1 week and 1 day to go! :-)

Happy Memorial weekend to all of you. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bye-Bye Mr. Lap-band... Hello Mr. Sleeve, Revision Surgery is done!

Hi Everyone,

I had my surgery last Friday and I am now officially lap-band free but sleeved.

This time I took a very different approach, I completely ignored that I was about to have surgery, didn't read any blogs, forums or articles the weeks prior to surgery and just let it happen. And I am glad I did.

I was very brave. We arrived at the hospital at 8 AM and everything went pretty fast. Before I knew it all the pre-op stuff was in progress, they put in the IV, my surgeon arrived, he talked to me for a few minutes and I was pushed in the operating room. Surgery started at 10 AM. Inside the operating room was a whole lot of activity going on and I only remember saying "Wow, now I am really getting kind of nervous" and immediately the anesthesiologist put some liquid in the IV and said: "This will help you to relax" and gone I was.

The surgery was kind of long... It took almost 4 hours :-( When I woke up in the recovery area I felt really bad. My mouth was sooo dry and I had the worst nausea ever. They kept me there for some time and brought me to my room many hours later.

The first day/night was horrible. The nausea meds didn't help at all... and since I couldn't pee they ultrasound-ed my bladder throughout the night. This was actually the weirdest feeling ever. I wanted to pee but whatever you normally do to release pee didn't work. I had no control over it.

The daytime-shift nurse really helped me to resolve this on Tuesday. She was the sweetest and most caring nurse I have ever met in my life. Every time I peed she got all excited and gave me high-five. Luckily I didn't need a catheter!

There was no way that I could have gone home after only one night in the hospital. I ended up staying there for 3 nights. The entire nausea thing took some time to resolve and I was very weak for the first 2 days. I slept most of the time and didn't even have the energy to hold a conversation or to drink my protein shakes. I only felt utter gratefulness for these wonderful nurses that cared for me <3.

It got better every day and on Monday I felt really confident that I could handle all of it at home.

On a great note...up to today I never experienced any pain inside of me or at the incisions. It's more like discomfort and when I move a certain way I do feel sore, but no pain. In the hospital I took some painkillers because they seemed to help with the nausea, but very small doses.

My incisions look great. My surgeon used the same incisions that I had from the lap-band surgery and I do not even feel them. I remember that after lap-band surgery the port area was sore for weeks, not so with the sleeve surgery. I am totally amazed how neat the incisions look and how little pain I had through all of this.

I am really excited now... Unfortunately my scale hasn't been my friend prior to surgery. In the hospital I weighed in at 186.5 and that's 20 lbs more than my lowest lap-band weight :-(

Finally I am losing again and I totally missed that. I've lost 9.8 lbs within one week :-)))))

Honestly, I never expected to lose that much with my low starting weight (did I really just write that?)

Can't wait to update my ticker <3 It's really exciting!

I hope all of you are well and life treats you good in lap-band or sleeve land!

Love & Hugs,


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Houston, We have a Problem!

I won't be having my revision surgery from lap-band to sleeve on Friday :-(

When I received the insurance approval in the mail I realized that there was a totally different hospital listed than what I had actually expected. I have no idea what has happened and why nobody told me that the surgery wouldn't take place at Cedars Sinai because all my other surgeries where performed there. And believe me, I would have went to the wrong hospital on Friday because I had no clue at all :D

Anyway, after some some soul-searching I decided to cancel the surgery at that other hospital and to have it re-scheduled at Cedars. I do not like hospitals in the first place and just the thought of needles and general anesthesia freaks me out already... I am not willing to take that additional stress to deal with a hospital that I do not feel positive about. I trust my surgeon 1000% and I wouldn't let anyone else perform that surgery but him. But in the end it's not only the surgery, it's also the hospital stay, the nurses and the care I'll receive once the surgery has been completed. All of this has to feel right... and it didn't!

I am kind of disappointed because I was really, really excited and sooooo ready!

On Monday I had my pre-op physical, tomorrow I will go for the chest x-ray and I have all the paperwork to go for the lab/blood test once I know when the surgery will take place. The labs are only valid for a limited period of time.

Let's see what will happen. I hope to have surgery soon because the scale is not my friend at all and that greedy stomach of mine isn't making it any easier for me.

I will keep you informed.

Love and Hugs,


Monday, April 9, 2012

Revision to Sleeve....Wow, it's happening so fast

On Tuesday I met with my surgeon and today I got confirmation that my insurance approved the revision surgery for late next week.

Wow... it is happening so fast. I am kind of nervous now and I hope it's the right decision. There are so many more Pros to have the revision but still... it's the "not knowing what it will be like" part that makes me nervous.

Unfortunately I gained 10 lbs during the last couple of weeks since I got that big unfill (plus the 5 lbs that I previously gained). It's a little frustrating and I truly hope that the sleeve will work as good for me as it worked for all the other people. I guess that is one of my biggest fears, that I won't be losing.

I am kind of excited, happy, and nervous all at the same time.

During the next couple of days I will need to get the medical clearance and start with the pre-op diet. I wasn't expecting it to happen so fast because it took forever to get a lap-band surgery date back in 2009.

Please cross your fingers for me that all goes well. *thankyou*

Love and Hugs,


Friday, April 6, 2012

Upper GI Endoscopy

I had my upper GI endoscopy done on Friday. It wasn't that bad because everyone around me was in a very happy mood and the staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center treated me like a little princess. The worst part, as always, was the IV needle :-( I am such a needle-phobic cry baby ;-)

The Doc found a hiatal hernia and something else that I cannot remember because I was too "high" from the anesthesia but I believe he said that there is inflammation and some kind of gastritis? I will find out more once my surgeon receives the report from the Endoscopy-Doc.

At any rate.. I do not exactly know what the "hiatal hernia" means in conjunction with the band. I had a hiatal hernia before the band and it was repaired during lap-band surgery by my surgeon. So something must have happened. I am now on 40mg Prilosec a day.

My mind is now completely set on the sleeve. I really want to have the revision surgery. Actually the sooner the better. I am ready. I will see my surgeon on Tuesday and hopefully we can get this process started so I can have surgery before summer.

(PS: I actually wrote this on Saturday but never got a chance to post it)

Will post a follow up soon.

Wishing you all Happy Easter or Happy Passover or just a Happy Weekend!

Love and Hugs,


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Acid-Reflux, My Undying Love for Mr. Lapband and Flirting with Mr. Sleeve

On Tuesday I had an un-fill because I couldn't take the acid reflux any longer. I am now far from sweet-spot restriction but this is so much better than dealing with the acid reflux and sleepless nights. What a relief. So far I have not tested how much I can actually eat because I am so accustomed to my small portions that it doesn't really matter right now! This may change soon but for the time being I am okay. I can handle it. There is no more reflux and I have not gotten stuck neither *yeah* I only ate healthy and nutritious foods *yeah* and slept 12 hours last night ;-) This was soooo needed, feeling 20 years younger today!

I also want to make sure that you all know that I really, really love my band. Without it I wouldn't even be anywhere near the weight I am at today. I am just tired of my not so pleasant side effects and in a way it feels like a never-ending story for me. Remember, I first had the infection and two more surgeries to remove the port and then to put the port back. After that Mr. Lapband worked really, really well for me. It was worth all the struggles. I am proud of what I have accomplished and I would not change a thing. There are no regrets of any kind.  I would do it again in a heart beat. I just wish everything would still be working the same way it worked for the first 1.5 years and would continue to work that way.

When I made the decision to get a lap-band in 2009 I was at a very different point. I was morbidly obese, weighing 295 lbs. and had a BMI of 46.2. My fears were mainly surgery related and of course I had strong fears of possible failures and not losing the weight. Fears of complications were secondary. I couldn't even imagine to ever weigh under 200 lbs. let alone picturing myself getting old with a lap-band inside of me.

Things have changed since then... Not only has my weight dropped to 169 lbs (BMI of 26.5) I have gained so much because of the weight loss. I feel as if someone has given me the gift of life for a second time. I have learned to love the new me very, very much. I have found new loves and passions, new hobbies and most importantly new dreams and goals for my future. I am very thankful and most of all grateful for experiencing this. This has been a wonderful journey for me.

And with everything that has been going on lately, the sudden fluctuation in restriction, the nasty reflux and not being able to have some kind of sweet-spot restriction (or at least stable restriction) and the sad outlook to may never find that restriction again has prompted my last post... because it totally sucks!

It feels like someone has given me all those beautiful and wonderful feelings of well-being and happiness and then punishes me with the worst acid-reflux to ruin the moment. And believe me all of this has negatively impacted my life. There are lots of things that I don't do no more, especially when it comes to socializing that involves eating.

My surgeon suggested the sleeve and really took the time to explain everything to me... and yes, I am okay with it (after some soul-searching)... but emotionally (and physically) I am still stuck with Mr. Lapband because I truly love him and it's not going to be easy to break-up with him and to fall in love with Mr. Sleeve. Luckily it won't happen tomorrow as I still have to go through all the red-tape of getting insurance approval filing for a divorce and by the time I will meet Mr. Sleeve I will be emotionally ready to fall in love once again and hopefully making it work for a lifetime! I hope the remaining 20% of stomach will still give enough room for some butterflies to live there <3 They will be needed.

So the next step will be getting an upper gi endoscopy done hiring a private eye to find out what Mr. Lapband is actually doing down there behind my back. Can't wait to find out and will definitely blog all the juicy details ;-)

Thank you for reading, listening and supporting me. I am so happy to be back to blogging :-)

Love and Hugs,


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Does the Band have an expiration date? Things got bad :-(

Hi Everyone....

OMG... it has been soooo long since I wrote my last blog *badme* Please forgive me :-(
How is everyone? I hope life is treating you well and that you are happy and healthy :-)

I would also like to say "Hi" to my new followers and that I am very happy to meet you. I will soon be following you as well... I just have not been on here for a while and will need to work my way through Lapband-Blogland for the next couple of days. Please bear with me :-)

I was just checkin in here and decided to leave a little update.

On the weight front all is going okay... I am still in the range of 166-171 lb... I have some good phases and many not so good phases. My main problem is finding some kind of a sweet spot or at least a restriction that I can live with.

It all began last May when I suddenly got extremely tight (without a fill, just out of the blue) and suffered from very bad reflux and was not able to eat any solids at all. So I went for an unfill... and I gained 9 lb. :-( Of course I went for a fill again and at first everything seemed to be fine... but after a month or so I again got extremely tight and suffered from the worst reflux ever, especially at night. I woke up choking almost every night. I had chicken noodle soups for dinner and even though I stopped eating and drinking at 7 pm the noodles and the tiny veggie pieces form the soup were still sitting in my pouch (and worked their way up while I was having my morning coffee, sorry) Very bad.

So all of this has been going with me since last May. There are now only two extremes for me. I either have very little restriction and I gain weight easily (slowly but surely) or I am so tight that I can't eat and suffer from extremely bad reflux. My restriction fluctuates by itself, out of nowhere it changes... I am fine one day and the next day I can't even drink water.. the next day I am lose again and could eat a double bandster-portion. I charted the weather, my menstrual cycle, the barometric pressure... there is no pattern that any of it plays a role in my restriction (or lack thereof).

I have NO idea why this is happening... everything was fine for almost 2 years and I have lost almost 130 lb. and kept it off (with a couple of ups and downs).

The most disturbing thing is, that  when I searched the internet I found sooo many other bandsters that are having the same issues with their lap-band and most of them are having (or already had) a revision to the vertical sleeve (or bypass) because they can't take those unpleasant side-effects from the band any longer... and I don't blame them... it's horrible. It also affects weight loss. The weight I have gained when I got the unfills was the hardest to get rid of. I truly miss the good old times, the beginnings in Lap-Band-Land when everything was working well, when I was happy, made good food choices, drank enough liquids, etc.

I wonder if anyone of my followers has those problems? Are you still having sweet spot restriction? Are you still losing weight? Have you reached your goal weight and is it easy for you to maintain?

My biggest question is....

Does the band have an expiration date? Is it just not designed to keep us happy for a life time? 

Please do not get me the wrong way... I do not want to spread any negative energy on here and I do not want to ruin any weight loss journey of happily banded people... I just want to know if anyone is having similar issues?

I am kind of disturbed... and deep inside of me I know I can't go on like this :-(