Friday, 29 February 2008

To fill or not to fill . . .

To fill or not to fill, that is the question. I arranged for another fill on March 8th with a different fill provider, since I didnt' think the most recent fill in Belgium had made any difference. That was a week ago.
(this isn't me either, but I wouldn't mind looking like this)
Now, I am not so sure that I could cope with any more fill at all. Other than my staple diet of soft cheese and crackerbread, soup and fruit juice, I can't eat hardly anything. Last night I was really fed up and tried to eat chocolate. It went down ok, but I felt sickly and stuffed (could be because I am not eating chocolate as much as I used to pre op, and once you are off chocolate for a while it does taste very sweet and sickly, I find.

Then to my shock and horror, I actually vomitted the chocolate. I didn't think I'd ever be in a state where I couldn't eat chocolate in small quantities.

Maybe (I've not been feeling very well) I am going down with some virus or other.

I am able to sip liquids this morning, but no food going down at all. Haven't felt like trying to be honest, tho I did try a boiled egg - wanting to start the day with protein. Actually I started the day with two painkillers for my back pain, and these stayed stuck for ages. They are capsules, but not the type you can open and sprinkle - they are glued shut and if I try to open them they end up all over my clothes, not my mouth.

So total intake so far today: a little sugar free squash, and two tramadol. Hmmmm. Not too many calories there, but, as experience tells me, the night is young, and I tend to feel less restricted as the day goes on.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


We've been discussing clothes sizes.

I wear shapeless, loose, baggy clothes all the time. Mostly because comfort is more important to me than looks; and since I'm home based I don't need to look professional or well dressed. So long as I'm clean and comfy, I'm happy!

I do have a lot of excess loose fat (it's not exactly just skin but that sort of thing) round my tummy. I can squidge it in handfulls and fold it in on itself etc. (Bet you all wanted to know that)

I am an apple shape, not pear and look about 5 months pregnant all the time.

I also have no waist, which is why I wear elastic waisted skirts, big t shirts etc.I don't have partic big hips, but cos of my huge waist I can't wear hip hugging clothes.

I've never been an avid clothes buyer - even when young and reasonably slim (never slim slim, but not fat) - I didn't think too much about clothes.

I wore jeans, denim skirts and a variety of t shirts for years.I never did follow fashion very much . . ok, just thinking aloud here, I don't know if it was pride or laziness but I really didn't care too much about what people thought of my clothes if I was happy in them and thought I looked good.

(No, these pics are not of me but I wouldn't complain if I looked like she does!)

Now, I am beginning to realise that maybe I'm scared of trying to dress up nicely because the result will be disappointing, easier not to try than to be disappointet.

Also, for years I've been saying to myself, "it is never seemed worth the money buying new expensive clothes since I am going to lose weight soon and they won't fit in a few months".

That is called denial I suppose :-) or maybe procrastination.

I'm off to get a measuring tape, and find some chart online that will tell me what size I officially am - not that that means I will fit it in any given shop . . OK so I have a waist of 46, hips of 41 and bust 47, which makes me a waist size 24 (and I'm in danger of heart disease cos my waist is bigger than my hips); hip size 20, and bust 22.Pretty much what I expected. Dunno how people who are heavier with higher BMIs get into size 16 jeans - I'd probably have a hernia trying to get them done up (assuming they got past my bum, they'd never do up at the waist!)

Being happy in myself and my clothes is more important than feeling that people are looking at me in admiration or envy my taste in clothes (pretty unlikely unless the person has a guide dog).

It bugs me a bit that my mom is always on at me to buy new clothes and "make more of myself" - that is her way of saying I look unacceptable now. I suspect dh feels the same way (same way as my mom, not as me)

Note to self, must make more effort.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Not much restriction

I am not convinced that I should not have had the extra 0.25ml fill. Can't say I notice any real difference in restriction between before and after this fill.

I am making much more effort to stop eating as soon as I feel remotely full. . . so as to avoid food coming back up. I've also been looking at why I have spent my life eating more than I really need to for hungery or fuel.

Like many others, sadly, I use food as comfort, not fuel. Looking back to the past (he who understands the past, controls the future) I realise that as a child food - not basic foods, but treats or special foods - were rationed or simply not given to us; which wasn't easy when everyone else in school had sweets or biscuits or crisps: these were before the days of five a day fruit and veg; and I definitely felt deprived.

As soon as I was in charge of my own food intake (earning my own money and at University) I tried to make up for lost time and continually bought unhealthy food for myself, as though trying to make up for the times I'd felt left out and deprived as a child.

I've also realised that I am a natural rebel, and somehow the minute I am told to eat more fruit and veg and cut down on my carbohydrates I almost immediately swing the other way and decide to do the opposite from what I am told. Not deliberately, but subconsciously I like to feel that I am in control and not subject to the rules and regulations that ordinary mortals are!

Sounds foolish when I write it down in black and white, but despite (or maybe because of) the fact that the rest of my life is very ordered and regulated and I have very little choices in how I live or what I do (but in the end, who does, most of are wage slaves or have inescapable domestic responsibilities), I am determined to exert my autonomy by eating exactly how I want.

Foolish idea. I am not doing my own thing or being my own person by eating the wrong foods in the wrong amounts and avoiding exercise as much as possible . . it just makes me feel in control. Whereas it is really just sabotaging my efforts to live the life I'd like to live - which includes being healthy, able to exercise and being pain free.
(Grand'Place where I did a lot of walking)
Since my trip round Brussels the other day, I've been in a lot of pain from my hip joints, not to mention the pain in my leg muscles. That worries me less, since muscles will ache if you havent' used them for a while; but joint pain at my age is something I could do without. (Esp since I have parents with replaced knees and waiting for more joint replacements)

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Weight loss

I have amended my ticker, to ignore the weight I lost on the pre op crash diet - semi starvation diets always make me lose short term weight quickly, but it doesn't stay off, so I've decided to use my pre op weight as a starting point.

Between my pre op consultation in Dec 13th and my first two fills Jan 11th and 12th I did not lose an ounce, in fact put on about 0.2kg. Dr Chris kind of rounds it up, then down, (to take acount of my being dressed), so it is not comparable with my home scales which are in pounds, not kilos.

Between Jan and this apointment I have lost more weight than I expected (according to his scales) - nearly one stone gone. I felt quite good about that.

On wards and downwards.

Oh and I posted on the WLS forum from the Campanille: it wasn't particularly easy, if you see this picture you might work out why (I am a 50 wpm typist at home) . .

Apologies & Update

Hi I just wanted to apolgise for complaining about the lack of support from the WLSinfo forum. Sure there are some people there I won't agree with, but on the whole I've had some decent advice and sympathy lately.
I am just back from Belgium, Dr Chris decided there was nothing wrong with my band (I am personally not convinced I didn't stretch it from vomitting), but he said all the fluid was still in, and only gave me 0.75 mils this time. He said I *could * come back Saturday for more, but he didn't recommend it.
Supper that evening was an over cooked, over salted omlette with the texture of old tyres, so I didn't manage to eat any of it hardly. I did cut it up and move it round my plate. I was convinced from that meal that I did have a bit more restriction, and decided not to have the Saturday fill.
(On a side note, that is the third time I've eaten in the Campanille, and the second time the food was rubbish)

They do pride themselves on their buffet - not much use to WLS patients, but this is what it looks like:
And for dessert:

I am now home, and I am not sure I have the slightest bit more restriction than I had; but such is life. Maybe it will tighten up and if not, Dr C is in London on the 13th of March. I kind of regret not having it done today, but when I saw Dr C on Friday night, he had a room full (I mean full to overflowing) of people who he told me were *all* there for emergency unfills. He strongly suggested I be happy with my now 5.75mls in my 9ml band.
Hmmmm. Not sure I made the right call; compared to the restriction I had back in January (post fill - the restriction didn't last), I feel positively empty.

I took lots of pics which I will post later - too tired now.

I arrived in Brussels Midi at 11am and decided to be brave and find my way to Brussels Centrale to find some touristy things to do. I say brave because the night before I left I'd searched the internet and found various reviews warning that Brussels Centrale is very "seedy", rather dangerous and it would be wisest to get a taxi from Midi to the Grand-Place, Brussels' central sightseeing area.

(The platforms are really dark and grimy)

It all went ok, tho I was irrationally terrified of being mugged; and I agree BC is far less modern, clean or safe than Brussels Midi.

I spent 2 - 3 hrs walking round yesterday and today, since I had time to kill, I spent at least 4 hrs walking round (bought so many presents for the family that I had to buy a new bag to carry them home - and I don't think anyone wants to see Belgian chocolate ever again)

I haven't had any chocolate. (insert halo here:-)

Today I have eaten

7.30 am one crackerbread with brie

10.30 am one coffe with some milk (ghastly UHT Macdonalds milk)

12.30 - 2pm 30grams pringles and some more brie (230 cals for the pringles, assuming I ate the whole 43g pack, tho I didn't)

Throughout the day, 400mls water.
Supper, half a sausage (dh had been cooking for the kids and I couldn't resist)

21.00 one cup a soup (slim variety)
when I eat I feel full, but the full ness doesn't last for more than 2 hrs, max. Sometimes it only lasts half an hour.
I do hope the excessive walking helped a bit with my weight loss

My hip joints are aching terribly, I am not used to long walks - and I am not sure I'll be able to move tomorrow - insert old age groan here :-)

I may eat a cracker bread and brie before bed, I hate going to bed with my tummy rumbling.
(total for brie all day around 500 cals. Ooops I do need to change cheeses here)
Plus one xencial - which incidentally never give me any bathroom issues. That has to be a good thing, huh?

Sunday, 17 February 2008


For some reason this last week I seem to have lost some weight. The tight restriction I had has gone, making it possible to drink more water, so I wonder if that has had something to do with it. I haven't felt particularly deprived this last week, maybe because I can drink what I want. I've been eating smaller portions of everything, though there are still a lot of foods I can't eat.

I also find that I can't really eat while talking, arguing with the children, or supervising everyone else eating (lots of small kids) I have to eat in peace and quiet away from stress if I want my food to stay down.

In common with a lot of people who've had this op, I can eat at all in the mornings, I do well to get a glass of hot water to stay down. Received dietary wisdom suggests one should never skip breakfast, but I don't really have an option on that one right now.

I've also managed to stay of chocolate: once I'm off it for a week or two, I get over the "addiction" and don't miss it too much.

So this last week has been better; I've not been so starving all the time.

Of to Belgium soon . .

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Monday again

Monday again, my favourite day of the week (sarcasm :-)

I recently posted on the WLS Forums asking for others' experiences of a band, to see what my experience was like, in comparison. In partic. I was/am concerned that I've not really lost much weight so far, and I wondered if this affected my long term success prospects.

Well! I got thumped good and hard for asking, with various comments telling me not to expect any weight loss for six months (???) and the general tone of replies being that I was whining and would I please be quiet.

Sigh, so much for a "support" group.

Obviously banding is a pretty individual experience, but I've come across posts by people who've lost 50% of their excess weight in 6 wks, or nearly 3 stone in 5 weeks - see for example.

I don't know why a few anonymous names at the end of a forum are making me feel defensive, but they are! I am not making it up that some people lose a lot of weight quickly after this surgery; nor, sadly, am I making up the fact that I haven't!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

New Fill Booked

It felt like my restriction seemed to "pop" a couple of days ago. I had bad muscle-type pain in my stomach area (not acid pain, felt like pulled muscles) and suddenly the restriction is much less. The best thing about it is being able to drink a glass of water in one go.

Obviously the bad thing is that I can eat more food. Trying to make sensible choices and not eat too much.

I've booked an appt with Dr Chris, I want to have an xray to see what happened to my oesophagus. And of course I need a fill or two.

I had a hiatus hernia repair and it worries me that all the pbing might have strained it. Or that I've stretched my band - he showed me at the pre op appointment how flexible the bands are and how they do stretch (instead of breaking) if your stomach strains them. I do hope I've not done that.

One thing I haven't had since surgery is heartburn/acid pain; and I was on full time Losec before hand, so that is a good thing.

I've got till the 22nd to try to lose some weight, then I'll see him in Belgium for possibly a double fill. I like the idea of having a fill and then being able to see him 12 hrs later, so if I am impossibly tight he can reduce it a bit. And if my restriction is not enough, he can add a bit more.

It is more expensive this way, than going to see him in London which I could have done next week, but I feel I prefer the double appointment.

I also got my exercise bike which was doing a great job as a clothes horse in my bedroom cleaned up and down to the study where I work most of the day. I even went on it for five minutes. Small steps. Got to start somewhere.

O wards and downwards.

If I get to Feb 22nd and see Dr Chris and haven't lost *any* weight, does that mean that the band is not going to work? No, it means I have to work harder with it.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Something's happening . .

Something is happening, and it doesn't feel good. My port has moved up, or so it feels. It's always been quite obvious thru my skin and it had definitely moved from south of my scar to north-west of it.

I've had pain in my hiatus hernia/top of stomach area for the last couple of days; and worst of all, my restriction is disappearing fast.

What has happened? I am concerned that my band is damaged. Is it normal to go from 85% restriction to 45% in two days? I'm still sticking to the vegetable soup, crackers and cheese, but I notice that when I ate some chicken tonight while making dh's supper, it went down fine. So I ate some more; no pbing.

Also, when I cough or shout (like when the kids are upstairs and I'm shouting for them to come down for lunch), it hurts my stomach/left breastbone area. Any sort of pressure does.

I don't think this is good. . .

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Going badly

This is going badly. I weighed myself on Friday and have lost only 2kgs since my pre op appointment. I lost more weight on the pre op diet of about 8 days than I've done since the op.

I can't eat any real food, just soup (even pureed veg is too thick, it has to be soup), crackerbread and cheese. I've kept off crisps and chocolate all week.

I don't see that getting another fill is going to help, since I barely get anything other than the above food down. Yet I am positively starving all the time. I am more food obessed than ever before and can scarcely sit down for an hour or two without getting yet another bowl of soup or some crackers.

(I am making my own soup - cauliflower, carrots and onions, plus three stock cubes and 2 litres of water; I go thru that at least once a day.)

I feel starving for food, liquid and salt all the time.

And of course I feel let down that I'm letting the band down. This is pathetic. I could lose more weight than this on a crash diet (or even a normal one: 2kgs since dec 14th is not a lot of weight to lose)

I don't think it is just head hunger, because I was never hungry like this before. I might think of going back on to reductil or phentermine - which certainly stopped any physical hunger.

My back hurts a lot (long term problem) and I now have a nasty pain just below my left ribs, feels like it goes up and under them - dunno if that is swelling round my band.

I've not pb'd hardly at all today, just been hungry, drinking litres of soup, and eating cheese and crackers.

Tomorrow is another day. . . .