Today I went back to have another band adjustment. It did not go as smoothly as last time. The Dr had to dig around to find my port with the needle. Not once, but TWICE. It hurt. A lot. Last time the whole process took around 20 minutes. This time it was the better part of an hour. I am still sore from all that digging, but I had 0.5ml added to the band, so the size of my stomach is now smaller. I could feel the difference straight away. Luckily I brought lunch from home today. Three spoonfuls of bolognese with a little cheese was more than enough for me. In fact, I couldn’t finish it. For dinner tonight it was steamed fish in a bag and some steamed veg. A serve about a third of what I would have eaten 2 months ago. What’s interesting to me is how little I eat now and still feel satisfied. And also, how little I think about food in between.
The Dr is pleased with my progress and says I have the right attitude and expectations of the process, which is pleasing to me too. It’s amazing how I get more work done in my day by not thinking about food. I realise now that I did that a lot. Now I just don’t really focus on it too much (despite how it looks when you read this blog).
The next step will be to increase my physical activity in order to boost the weight loss. I have already started moving around at work more. Last week I had to kneel at work, and I got up easily! I climbed 3 flights of stairs and I wasn’t sweaty and puffing at the top. I can walk a circuit of the school, and not be limping afterwards. And THAT is the best side effect of all. FEELING better. Looking better is just a bonus.
Hopefully things will settle quickly after this adjustment. The next one is in 3 weeks, so I’ll keep you posted.
Thanks for reading.
After the ordeal of brunch last weekend, I decided to take a softly, softly approach to my eating and just ease my way along. By Monday I was coping well. The key has certainly been to take smaller mouth/forkfuls and chew them for as long as possible. I can no longer tolerate Weetbix – too much like hummus, I think it gums up the works. This is devastating as it was my go-to breakfast on a cold winter morning. Might have to look at instant porridge instead.
The good news is that I can now eat English muffins and crumpets! So baked beans on a toasted muffin is a quick and yummy brekkie – when I have brekkie. I still am not eating breakfast every day. It just depends on how full I feel. I now keep snacks like Ryvita or Cruskits at work so if I do get peckish mid-morning, I can have a little something to keep me going. Often, though, I will just wait until lunchtime – working in a school means I have restrictions on when I am allowed to stop to eat something, and since eating takes at least 15-20 minutes now I can no longer eat “on the run” as I used to.
I have been shocked at how little I need to eat in order to:
- Feel satisfied
- Maintain energy levels (although I am dog-tired by the end of the day)
- Lose weight.
Now it’s just a matter of taking one day at a time and making these new habits life habits. Next week I am back to have the band tightened or loosened. I am pretty sure they’ll be putting more saline in because I am just starting to eat more than I probably should be able to. Then the whole process starts again – until we reach the optimal band size.
Went out to eat with friends for brunch this morning at one of our favourite locals. By 10:30 I was feeling ready to eat, so I ordered mushrooms and hoummus on a bagel with avocado and a poached egg. If it sounds ambitious, you’re right.
- Probably should have forgone the bagel
- Probably should have chosen something smaller
- Definitely should have avoided hoummus.
Avo? Lovely. Egg? Great. Mushies? Okay to a point. Bagel? Not a good idea – too dense. Hoummus? VERY bad idea. I thought the hoummus would be good. Soft, nutritious. Nope. Turns out what hoummus is best at is sticking things together. Gumming up the works, if you will. This resulted in two trips to the establishment’s toilet. The first, a calm walk and deliberate expunging of the blockage. The second, an agony-filled race to the toilet before all the cafe patrons got to see what I had just tried to ingest.
Fortunately our friends are pretty easy going folk and were aware what was going on, so no cause for embarrassment. Just a sense of annoyance from me and feeling like I took a backward step. I ate slowly, I even remembered to take smaller mouthfuls, but the hoummus brought me undone. Clearly this is the next learning curve, running parallel to the how to eat curve : WHAT to eat/ not eat.
So, scratch hoummus, at least for now while I settle into a “band rhythm”.
And it really looks like breakfast, my favourite meal to eat out, will be a pot of tea or a couple of lattes for the next little while. That’s okay. At least I don’t run the risk of egging my top anymore. Win.
Hoummus is overrated anyway….although this hoummus was delicious. At least, it was going down…
Note: crumpets go down easier. Had one with honey when we got home and it was great.
That should see me through until dinner – whenever that is.
So, after the ravages of yesterday I decided to re-read my post-surgery guide. As soon as I did, I realised what part of my problem is.
I’m still trying to eat to the old schedule. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. I am SUPPOSED to be eating when I feel hungry, or empty. This morning, I changed tack. For the first time, since I can even remember, I did not eat breakfast. I had a cup of tea. I read my novel at the breakfast table. I had time to bash out another 300 words of my short story before I had to hop into the shower to get ready for work. I feel fine.
I even had time to prepare something to bring for lunch. I have to eat lunch when I am allocated time to do so at work, especially on a day full of classes. I think the trick will be to have things I can take a couple of bites of, if I need it, and then pop away again until I have the time or inclination to eat more.
Of course I always knew the real work would be the behaviour changes, I just forgot that yesterday. I was sore, and sick, and tired. I crawled into bed early and slept soundly until the alarm woke us.
Now I am feeling more positive – and I thought I should share that after feeling so awful and negative about everything yesterday.
It is getting better. All the time.
I’ve worked out how the lapband works. It makes you hate eating so much, you don’t want to do it anymore. Ta dah! Net result? You lose weight! You also feel tired, and irritable, and like you are going to have to eat steamed fish FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. The last two days have been absolute hell. I am not going to sugar coat it. Right now, I don’t care if I never eat another mouthful of ANYTHING. The heavy, twisting pain of something being stuck, and the inevitable double time walk to the toilet to hack up whatever is stuck there is demoralising and exhausting. Don’t give me fucking platitudes about how “it will all be worth it” or about how “brave” I am. I’m not bloody brave. I’m desperate. Desperate for this process to work, to change my relationship with food (so far, mission accomplished), and to be something I can live with for the rest of my life. I know things will get better, the band will be adjusted, it will start to settle down. But right now? RIGHT NOW I DONT BLOODY CARE. I feel Iike shit. I am sore, I am sad, and I am incredibly tired. I was warned this would be a side effect for a while, but it’s affecting everything. Starting tomorrow I will have to try not to speak to the husband and kids, cause I don’t KNOW what is going to come out of my tired, pissed off brain.
I decided when I started this blog that I would be warts and all honest. I warn you now, this is probably going to get worse before it gets better, so if you can’t stay, I will understand. I need to write this down, so that when it DOES get better I can look back at where I was, at WHO I was, and see how far I have come.
If you are still reading, thanks for coming on this roller coaster with me. Hang on. It’s about to get bumpy.
Today I went back the surgeon and had saline put into my band. The sensation of the needle being taken out of the port was weird, but the injection itself was not painful. The port is in exactly the right spot and I have healed well, which was great news. After they put the saline in, you have to drink some water to see if you can swallow it properly (after all they’ve just made the opening smaller). This did not go well. I took a sip and it was painful straight away, and up it came (ew!). So, back on the bed and the surgeon inserted the needle again and took some saline out. More water. More pain, but at least I kept it down. Back on the bed, needle back in, and more saline removed. Instant relief. More water. All good. No steak or bread for the next 2 or 3 days, and now the timing of every mouthful starts.
I was presented with an 1 minute egg timer. On the top it says “Eat a small amount of good food slowly”. Just in case you’ve forgotten how that pain felt! Each mouthful of food must be chewed for one minute before swallowing. Eventually I won’t need it anymore because it will just be how I eat. But for now it is my constant companion. Now the REAL mind reset begins – the slowing down (even more than I have already), the choice of food, and hopefully not feeling hungry or interested in food. Still feeling very positive about the whole experience so far – even the throwing up incidents – because they are all steps in a long journey. A journey I have already waited too long to take. Here’s to the next phase!
So, here I am near the end of Week 3 and starting to eat “normal” foods again, albeit in smaller quantities. I’ve put on a little weight, but since I still have no saline in the band, this is an expected gain. My post surgery guidebook from the surgeon says it’s totally normal, so I am not worried by it. Besides, I am really starting to feel and see some differences. People have started to notice I am losing weight. Clothes that were once stretched acrosss my hips now move freely and some even swing around. My so-called “relaxing pants” (a pair of black elastic-waist shorts that I have owned for about 3 years) are now loose around the middle and some pants won’t stay up at all without a belt.
I went clothes shopping today (well, I went to Rivers to buy shoes and bought clothes too!) and found some cute black and white pants in a stretchy fabric in a size 20. I took a punt and bought them without trying them on. They fitted me perfectly. It has been about 4 years since I’ve been able to even THINK about doing that! The pants will be even looser by the time we holiday in Port Douglas and they will be great for next summer. I am looking forward to going back to work on Wednesday and moving around a bit more too. I am hoping the extra weight might come off again before I have my first follow up visit on May 2.
My back is behaving now, and my knee pain has been gone for a month. Soon I will get in touch with my mate Lissa who has offered to be my walking partner a couple of times a week. We will start small and gradually increase our distance as my joints become better conditioned. I am feeling very positive and less tired with each day.
Bring on Week 4!