Weight Loss Tracker

Monday, October 4, 2010

a long time coming

I've been hiding in the shadows of blogland for, wow, almost 5 months. I think my reluctance to post came from my disappointment with this whole banding process. Things went so well from October 2009 - February 2010 and then everything just stopped. Up to that point I had lost 45lbs which was great but not amazing since I had done the same thing on Weight Watchers a few years back.

Then came the struggle with my port which resulted in a report in May. After the report, with no where near the same amount of fluid in my band I gained back several (read: 10) of the pounds that I had lost before all the damn port trouble. I was very angry, ashamed, and down right depressed. Here I had paid thousands of dollars (twice) to have this band and I had hardly anything to show for it.

I've struggled to be patient and get myself back up to pre-report restriction but come on did I really have to start this damn process over again? I just about lost my mind waiting and waiting to get back up to 7ccs in my 14cc band. Finally in August we reached that point and things started moving.

Cut to October 2, 2010 - my bandiversary. I had finally dropped those 10 lbs that I had gained during my port struggles, I went to a wedding wearing a cute dress that I bought at a regular store (still from the plus sized section but not from a plus sized store), my blood pressure was extremely better (117/72), my asthma was better, and overall I felt like things were moving in the right direction.

I've lost an additional 2 lbs in the past week which puts me almost 50lbs down since surgery and 101 lbs down since my highest weight (the day I gave birth to my son). I can honestly say that this past year has been a difficult one but I'm hoping this next year with the band proves to be a fantastic one.

Here's to never weighing 376 pounds again!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

alls well that ends well

The surgery to fix my flipped port was supposed to be at 10:25 so I arrived and checked in at 8:25. We sat in the waiting room for about an hour and someone finally called my name. She then asked me why I was there so early because my surgery wasn't scheduled until 3pm. WTF - my paper clearly said 10:25am.

She checked the computer and it looks like late yesterday my doctor's office had called to switch me to an afternoon surgery. She offered to find me a bed to hang out in (for 4hrs) or I could go home. I chose the latter. I found out later that Dr. Enochs' office had called and left me a message but it as on my work phone and I didn't work Thursday.

Anyway - I showed back up at 1:15 for the 3:15 surgery. I got back to preop pretty quickly, got gowned, and IV'd. The anesthesiologist came to visit and told me that I would only be under deep sedation instead of general anesthesia which was quite a relief. No tube down my throat and no long wait in recovery, yay!

A little while later the nurse came back to tell me that Dr. Enochs was running late and that my surgery would be closer to 4pm instead of 3pm. Frustrating ... but what could I do? My parents came back to wait with Billy and me. Now that the surgery time was pushed to 4pm my parents would have to leave before I was out of recovery because they had to pick the baby up before 6pm so I wanted to spend some time with them before had to leave.

The shift changed at the hospital so we didn't see a nurse for a good long while. When one finally came to check on me, we were told that Dr. Enochs wasn't even done with this 12:45 surgery yet even though it was nearly 4pm! AND he had a gallbladder removal in front of me. How frustrating can one day be!!

My parents decided to go ahead and leave since they wouldn't be able to see me off to surgery anyway. They finally took me back to the surgical prep room about 5pm. Dr. Enoch's came by to see me before surgery. I told him I wanted whatever fancy tricks he had because I didn't want to have to do this again (like my dear friend Tina). I think I actually went into surgery around 6pm. I heard the nurses talking that Dr. Enochs was still running behind ... but then I drifted off to sleep.

Recovery was pretty easy, I assume since I wasn't under general and I was able to get up/go pee very quickly. I swear it was the fastest I have ever been released from the hospital. I think we were home by 8:30. I ate dinner and went to sleep. Billy picked up my pain meds after I went to sleep but didn't even take any last night.

I woke up this morning feeling ok. I mean, I know I had surgery yesterday but I don't feel nearly as bad as I thought I would. I took one dose of pain meds this morning after I had been up about 4 hrs but I'm not sure I'll take any more until I go to sleep tonight.

All in all, it was a LONG day but I am glad that all went well and that hopefully I can get back on the right track.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

tomorrow we report!

Re-port that is. I will check into the hospital about 8:30 and hopefully Dr. Enochs will be on schedule and I'll be re-ported around 10:30. I can't believe this is actually happening - stupid flipped port.

My husband and parents will all be there waiting nervously. The nurse said it should only take like 15mins so I hope to be home by mid-afternoon.

I'm not sure how much fluid he is actually going to put in the band during the procedure but I hope it doesn't leave me even less restricted than I am now. I don't want to gain any more weight!!

Wish me luck, ladies and gentlemen.

Friday, April 30, 2010


I totally have my days messed up.

I forgot about the appointment that never happened in between my last visit with the FNP and my visit this Tuesday with the surgeon. My original appointment with the surgeon was Tuesday, April 20th. The appointment was at 11:30 so I arrived around 11. After sitting in the lobby for about an hour, I was told that the person with the 11am appointment hadn't even been seen yet. I couldn't wait too much longer because I had a 2pm meeting. So after about an hour and 1/2 of waiting - and not seeing the doctor - I had to reschedule.

Cut to this past Tuesday, April 27th. There I was bright and early for my 9am appointment with the surgeon. Now I haven't laid eyes on this man since I was in the recovery room on October 2, 2009 so I was pretty excited to get to see him. I arrived about 8:30 knowing full well that I was going to stay there until I saw him. I had taken the whole morning off to deal with this and if need be I would take the afternoon off as well!

When I checked in they informed me that Dr. Enochs was already running late and that it might be awhile. I sat in the lobby for about 45mins before they called me back to a room. I asked the nurse if he was there already and she said no. I told her that I would much prefer to wait in the lobby as there is a TV out there than to be stuck in a room with nothing to do. She then informed me that the PA was going to see me.

WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!! I had waited nearly 3 months for some resolution here and now I was going to be seeing the PA? I told them that I would be happy to see the PA but that I wasn't leaving until I saw Dr. Enochs no matter if I had to spend the night!

A different nurse came in and asked me all the standard questions. She told me that I should try a fill under fluoro. No ... really? That's what I've been trying to do for 2 months to no avail. She tried her best to calm me by telling me how good Brett (the PA) was at giving fills and that if anyone could hit my stubborn port it would be him. So off I went to the fluoro room. Drank the barium (again) to show that I still have no restriction (like it was going to magically appear with no fill) and waited for Brett.

Finally I meet the miraculous Brett. He then begins his 45mins of poking. Again with the lay down, sit down, stand up, lean this way, twist that way, tighten, relax. POKE POKE POKE! They even had me stand in the fluoro machine so they could see where the needle was when they were poking me. At one point he said to the nurse .. I think I am going to get the longer needle! Excuse me, those needles are already pretty long. He kept telling me that "this will be the last stick" but I swear it was never ending.

When he finally decided that he had had his fun he told me he was going to ask "the doctor to take a pass at it." I was interested to see if Dr. Enochs could hit this dastardly problematic port. But instead of my surgeon in walks a different surgeon - Dr. Bruce. So still no Dr. Enochs. At least Dr. Bruce was really nice but then he started stickin' me with needles!

After about another 15 mins, Dr. Bruce recommended that I have a port revision surgery. It was like angels from heaven shining down on me. He said the words I had been waiting to hear for nearly 3 months! If the damn thing is broken - please let's fix it! He said that if Dr. Enochs' schedule was too full and I was ok with it that he would do it himself.

So after 3 months and nearly 3 total hours of poking, I am scheduled for a port revision surgery on May 14th. This time they are going to sew it to some mesh to give it more stability when they sew it to my muscle wall. Please let it stay this time. I'm not sure I can go through any more appointments like the ones I've had lately.

And I know my stomach doesn't want to look like this anymore!

I've circled each pock mark to illustrate just how many times they tried to hit my port. The ones with the bruises are where they entered the same hole more than once and/or did a lot of dancing around once they had it in there.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

the Banded and the Hungry

Previously on the Banded and the Hungry, I was having issues getting in to see the correct doctor and hoping that my next appointment would be a fill under flouro.

Cut to over a month later and ohh what fun we have had!

I got to see my FNP Lisa shortly after my last post. She had me do the flouro to see how much restriction I had. Guess what it said ... I had practically NO restriction. That barium just flowed right on through things. That being said she decided to put 2ccs into my band. I am supposedly at 7.5ccs already in a 14cc band and by the look of things on the x-ray, I am no where near the restriction I should be at 6 months.

So we went into the other room and she proceeded to give me my fill ... well not so much. She poked and poked and poked. She had me lay down, put a pillow under my back, make a crunch, stand up, sit down (fight fight fight). We went back into the room with the flouro machine and she tried it there as well. But try and try (poke and poke) as she might, there was no getting into my dear little port.

She told me that I must have lost enough weight in certain areas that the port is sitting tilted. She suggested that we wait 2 weeks and see if my weight had dropped again hopefully adjusting the way my port was situated.

Mind you -- with all this poking she went through about 6 needles and 45mins of my life laying on a table getting stabbed!

Fortunately, they didn't charge me for that visit either. I scheduled my next appointment for 3 weeks out because unfortunately she wasn't available in 2 weeks.

My 3 week appointment was on April 23rd.

This appointment was much shorter than my last two. She tried to give me a fill 3 times with the help of another nurse. All tries were unsuccessful. She told me that I needed to make an immediate appointment to see the surgeon.

They squeezed me in to his schedule this past Tuesday(April 27th). But more on that in my next post.

Next time on the Banded and the Hungry: more barium, pokes, and doctors!

Friday, March 19, 2010

hello port, are you really there?

A couple of folks questioned my determination to get my next fill done under fluoro. Let me provide you with a couple of reasons of why I think this is a good idea at this time for me and a friend's horror story.

I am 6 months out in about a week and 1/2. I've lost 45lbs (with the majority of that happening within 1 month of surgery) but literally not a single pound in over a month.

My hunger level is pretty high. And I do a pretty good job of differentiating between head hunger and actual hunger. I usually don't eat until I can actually hear my stomach growling. I can eat 2 eggs and a piece of sausage at 8 am and be growling by 10.

My restriction level is not where I would like it to be. I can literally eat a full sized chewy bagel no problem and probably could go for a second if I didn't stop myself. I can eat 2 slices of pizza and not even worry about getting stuck.

And WHY NOT? It's covered by my insurance and offered right there at my doctor's office. I'm not afraid of a little barium swallow and some x-rays :)

Now onto my friend who attends the same clinic as I do. She had her surgery about a month before mine I believe which would put her around the 6 month mark when her fluoro took place. She had been having the same types of issues that I have with hunger and restriction. Yes, she had lost weight but not as much as doctor (or she) had expected.

When they did the fluoroscopy they found out that her band was so loose that she didn't have any restriction at all! AND to make matters worse, her port was flipped. They weren't sure they had ever given her a fill into the actual port - which means she had been paying for saline injections into her belly for 6 months! I can't imagine the emotion she was feeling when they told her that. She has since had her port repositioned and his hopefully on her way to actual weightloss.

All of that combined helped me decide that my next fill would definitely be a fluoro fill. No reason to put it off. Let's take a look in there and see what is actually happening.

And about talking to the doctor regarding the incompetent people at his practice - been there, done that. I don't think he really cares. I think I'll call a couple other offices today to see what it would cost me to switch.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

but they were so nice in the infomercial ...

Well, I finally had one of those appointments that makes me wonder WHY THE HELL DID I CHOOSE THIS OFFICE!!!!

I originally had an appointment scheduled for Feb 26th but I needed to reschedule due to a last minute conference I needed to attend. I called to reschedule and told them that I wanted to go as soon as possible and since Lisa (the FNP that I usually see) only works on Thurs/Fri please schedule me with Brett if he was available sooner.

Got the appointment set for 3/8 and was ready to go. I showed up on time for my appointment and the lobby was semi-busy. After about 30 mins of waiting (and listening to some other woman bitch that people were being called before her even though she had been there longer) I was taken straight to an exam room. Usually they weigh me first, but I figured perhaps someone else was using the scale.

I sat there for about 30 minutes waiting. In comes a nurse who I had never seen before. She asked me if I usually saw Lisa. I told her I did but that I had to reschedule and so they put me with Brett for an adjustment. We talked about my issues and how I thought perhaps I should do the fill under fluro. I talked for awhile about my lack of restriction and my hunger level. It was weird that she didn't recognize some of the terminology that I was using. I let her know that I wanted to do fluro to make sure everything was in place and working as it should be.

She finally decided to weigh me AND WTF I was up 1.5lbs from my last visit. I told them I was f-ing hungry and not restricted! Look what happens!

So we go back into the exam room and she says she is going to get everything ready for the doctor. That it might be a good idea to schedule a fluro appointment with Lisa and the x-ray tech are both there (neither were there that day of course). She was going to assume that the doctor would give me .5ccs just to tide me over until I could have the fluro appointment. She didn't know where all the fill supplies were and had to kind of fumble through the cabinet to find everything.

She said the doctor would be right in and went into the hallway. A few minutes later I could hear her in the hallway talking to another nurse. She was saying that I had been scheduled for the wrong doctor and that what I really needed to do was reschedule but that if Dr. X wanted to fill me he could. They talked for a few minutes about how I need to go under fluro because of my hunger, weight gain, etc.

I sat there listening and I couldn't believe they were talking about me right outside the door (pretty loudly I might add) like I couldn't even hear them!

I decided to interrupt their conversation and let them know that if what I needed to do was reschedule then that is what would be happening. I told her that I was supposed to be scheduled with Brett and if that wasn't the case then I didn't want some other person who doesn't normally do this to be sticking me with needles. She said that Dr. X was qualified to give me a fill he just usually doesn't do it because he isn't a weighloss surgery doctor! I told her that instead of waiting another 30 minutes (I had now been there almost 2 hours) and being stuck by some random doc, I would rather reschedule for the correct person and get it all done at once. She told me that would be fine.

You pay when you walk in the door at this office so I had already shelled out my $60 specialist copay. Of course, I then told her that I would be expecting a refund from that appointment because nothing had happened. She told me that wouldn't be a problem either and sent me up to check out.

The lady at check out (while very nice about it) basically told me that they wouldn't refund the $60 that I had paid since I had been seen by the nurse. I told her the gist of the story and that I wasn't leaving until it was settled - either give me back my $60 or apply it to my new appointment. She went to ask the office manager who thankfully told her to apply it to my next appointment. I got her name, the office manager's name, the nurse's name, etc. No way I was walking out and not having it in the bag.

So after 2 hours, no fill, and $60 later - they rescheduled my appointment for the next opening when Lisa and the x-ray tech would be there. MARCH 26th!!! That was two and 1/2 weeks away from that day.

I would honestly think about changing doctors but I don't want to have to pay another office a membership fee or go through unnecessary tests.

UGH! I hope things go better next week and that all is well under fluro.